View post tag: Naval May 17, 2012 The EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) frigate Corte-Real recently visited Port Victoria in the Seychelles to perform boat-handling training with the local Coast-Guard.This military cooperation is seen as an important way to improve the counter-piracy capabilities of the Seychelles’ Coast-Guard. The Seychelles has an exclusive economic zone of 1.4 million km².This training is part of a coordinated planning approach established under the supervision of Force Headquarters on board FS Marne, and is implemented by ships when visiting ports in the area of operations. This is part of EU’s comprehensive approach in the fight against piracy, and particularly of EUNAVFOR’s will to participate actively in the maritime capacity building process of regional navies and coast guards.Corte-Real is part of the EU’s counter piracy mission – Operation “Atalanta”, off the Horn of Africa. She has an embarked helicopter and 2 boarding teams and her crew comprises 196 men and women.[mappress]Naval Today Staff , May 17, 2012; Image: Eunavfor Back to overview,Home naval-today EU NAVFOR Frigate Corte-Real Performs Boat-Handling Training in Seychelles View post tag: Navy View post tag: Seychelles Training & Education EU NAVFOR Frigate Corte-Real Performs Boat-Handling Training in Seychelles Share this article View post tag: Performs View post tag: Boat-Handling View post tag: Corte-Real View post tag: Training View post tag: News by topic View post tag: Frigate View post tag: EU NAVFOR
On a cool, foggy morning in February, students and volunteers work together to tend the UGArden medicinal herb garden. While it’s grown over the last seven years, the garden is just a few rows of a field at the edge of the University of Georgia’s student-run farm, UGArden. But it’s become an integral part of UGArden and a refuge for students who want to learn more about the benefits of medicinal plants and escape from the stresses of class and work.The garden is run by herbalist Noelle Fuller, who received her bachelor’s degree in nutrition science and her master’s degree in horticulture, both from UGA.The garden serves as a growing and harvesting location for many herbal remedies and teas that are sold on the property and at the UGA Tate Student Center marketplace. Proceeds go back to UGArden, which is meant to be a teaching tool and a retreat from the stress of school for students.In December, UGArden launched a line of herbal teas ranging from Immuni-Tea, which supports the immune system, to Nourished Heart Tea, with calming and soothing properties. Besides tea, UGArden students and volunteers use the garden’s herbs to produce herbal salve, lavender oil and lavender herbal soap.As a graduate student, Fuller joined her love of nutrition and horticulture by studying holy basil, an herb known to have stress-reducing properties.Fuller’s scientific approach to herbalism gives her insights that she’s eager to share with her interns and volunteers, many of whom are learning about herbs for the first time.“Really why we’re here is for education and empowerment,” Fuller said.While sales help to support the garden’s expenses, the volunteers who tend to the garden every week really keep it going.Each week, Fuller and four herb garden interns work in the garden from 8-11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Zoe Sabatini, a 20-year-old undergraduate psychology student, joined UGArden as a volunteer and found out about the herb garden internship, which piqued her interest.“It’s so nice to have time during the day,” Sabatini said. “Even though you’re doing work, it’s so calming and freeing.”This time of year, Fuller and her interns propagate new plants by cutting pieces from existing plants in the ground and putting them in water to create new plants.They’ll sell the baby plants at the herb garden’s spring plant sale this spring, where the public can learn more about medicinal gardening and purchase some of their own medicinal plants.Fuller’s team also makes videos of the work they do in the garden to post to their YouTube channel in an attempt to keep the public engaged and involved in their program.Ultimately, she sees her job as empowering people — her interns and others — to take care of themselves by incorporating medicinal herbs into their lives.“It’s great to have hands-on education, so to me, that’s why I’m here and that’s why I love what I do,” Fuller said.For more information about the program and sales of the garden’s products, visit ugarden.uga.edu/medicinal-teas/. Follow UGArden on Facebook to stay updated about events, like the medicinal garden’s spring plant sale. Follow Noelle on YouTube at www.youtube.com/channel/UC0rufIE89uMT6r_2fyjIKMQ to see her videos of working in the herb garden.To learn more about herbs and how to cultivate them, UGArden offers workshops where you can get hands-on experience. Visit squareup.com/store/ugarden to learn more.
Credit: Sheng JiongStagecoach has filed a claim at the UK’s High Court in London“The… claim that has been issued and the further legal actions under preparation vary in certain respects but common to all is our refusal to accept the potential pension risks that the DfT requires operators to bear in relation to the three new franchises,” Stagecoach said. “The full extent of these risks is unknown but we estimate them to be well in excess of £1bn.”Railpen had £27.5bn assets at the end of December 2017, according to its latest annual report, but did not report its liabilities. At the time it catered for more than 340,000 members and had 169 sponsoring employers.The pension scheme has traditionally been guaranteed by the state, but Stagecoach has accused the DfT of trying to transfer ultimate responsibility for funding the deficit onto railway operators.In a letter sent in April to Frank Field, chair of the UK parliament’s Work and Pensions Select Committee, Stagecoach CEO Martin Griffiths accused the DfT of being “reckless” and “constantly changing position” regarding pension funding rules.In a statement on 2 May, Stagecoach claimed that the UK’s Pensions Regulator had estimated that Railpen had a £7.5bn shortfall and was “seeking significant additional contributions to the scheme which are as yet unquantified”.Griffiths said this week that “fundamental questions” remained unanswered surrounding franchise bidders’ exposure to pension funding risk. “In view of the legal action we have taken today we believe it would be untenable for the DfT to proceed to sign any contract for the East Midlands franchise without a full and proper review of the procurement of that franchise to help restore public confidence in the process,” he said.‘Railpen funding is everyone’s responsibility’Abellio, which already operates four UK railway routes, said ensuring that Railpen was fully funded had been an “ongoing responsibility for everyone involved in running the railway” for “many decades”.In a statement issued on 8 May the company said: “Abellio is working constructively with the pension trustees, Rail Delivery Group, employee representatives, the Department for Transport and the Pensions Regulator to maintain the pension scheme for the long term.“Abellio, along with many other multinational organisations who have submitted compliant bids for current competitions, are satisfied that the protection mechanism put in place by the Department for Transport suitably balances all parties’ risk.”In a letter to Frank Field and Lillian Greenwood, chair of parliament’s Transport Committee, the transport minister Chris Grayling said no new or additional demands had been placed on franchise bidders.He also stated that companies bidding for the East Midlands route were made fully aware of the funding position and requirements, as well as the involvement of the Pensions Regulator, and were permitted to resubmit bids in September last year in light of the information. In addition, Stagecoach said it was preparing separate legal claims against the DfT relating to its decisions on the franchises for the West Coast and South Eastern routes. It also said it would seek a judicial review of the process for the East Midlands route. A UK transport company is suing the government over its decision to ban it from bidding for three lucrative rail franchises.Stagecoach’s bids to run railway services on three routes in England were all rejected by the Department for Transport (DfT) after the company opposed a requirement to contribute to the Railways Pension Scheme (Railpen). Stagecoach has claimed it would have to shoulder more than £1bn (€1.2bn) of potential pension costs to comply with the department’s bidding rules.The group announced on 8 May that it had issued a claim in the UK’s High Court in London alleging that the transport ministry had “breached its statutory duties… in connection with the procurement of the new East Midlands rail franchise”.The franchise was officially awarded to Abellio – part of Dutch transport firm Nederlandse Spoorwegen – earlier this week.