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Drop in World Piracy in First Half of 2012, IMB Reports

first_img Share this article Training & Education View post tag: first View post tag: reports View post tag: 2012 View post tag: Half View post tag: drop The number of pirate attacks have fallen sharply in the first half of 2012, led by a drop in Somali piracy, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) global piracy report revealed yesterday, but warned that these numbers were offset by a worrying increase of attacks in the Gulf of Guinea.Overall, 177 incidents were reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) in the first six months of 2012, compared to 266 incidents for the corresponding period in 2011.The report showed that 20 vessels were hijacked worldwide, with a total number of 334 crew members taken hostage. There were a further 80 vessels boarded, 25 vessels fired upon and 52 reported attempted attacks. At least four crew members were killed.The decrease in the overall number is primarily due to the decline in the incidents of Somali piracy activity, dropping from 163 in the first six months of 2011 to 69 in 2012. Somali pirates also hijacked fewer vessels, down from 21 to 13. Nonetheless, Somali piracy continues to remain a serious threat.“Somali pirate attacks cover a vast area, from the Southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Gulf of Oman to the Arabian Sea and Somali Basin, threatening all shipping routes in the north west Indian Ocean,” said Pottengal Mukundan, Director of IMB, which has been monitoring world piracy since 1991.The report, in part, has attributed the noticeable decline in Somali piracy to the pre-emptive and disruptive counter piracy tactics employed by the international navies. This includes the disruption of mother vessels and Pirate Action Groups.“The naval actions play an essential role in frustrating the pirates. There is no alternative to their continued presence,” said Mr Mukundan.The effective deployment of Best Management Practices, ship hardening and, in particular, the increased use of Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel (PCASP), has also contributed to the falling numbers.As of 30 June 2012, Somali pirates were still holding 11 vessels and 218 crew, 44 of whom were being held ashore in unknown locations and conditions.The decline in Somali piracy, however, has been offset by an increase of attacks in the Gulf of Guinea, where 32 incidents, including five hijackings, were reported in 2012, versus 25 in 2011. In Nigeria alone there were 17 reports, compared to six in 2011. Togo reported five incidents including a hijacking, compared to no incidents during the same time last year.The IMB report emphasized that high levels of violence were also being used against crew members in the Gulf of Guinea. Guns were reported in at least 20 of the 32 incidents. At least one crew member was killed and another later died as a result of an attack.In Nigeria, three vessels and 61 crew members were taken hostage. Seven vessels were boarded, six fired upon and one attempted attack was reported. The report further showed that attacks by armed pirates in skiffs were occurring at greater distances from the coast, suggesting the possible use of fishing or other vessels to reach targets. On 30 June 2012 alone, three vessels were fired upon, including a tanker and a container vessel within a five-minute period, approximately 135 nautical miles from Port Harcourt.The increase in pirate activity off Togo has also been attributed to Nigerian pirates. The five reported incidents all occurred in April, culminating with the hijacking of a Panamax product tanker by the month’s end.Attacks elsewhere in the world have mainly been armed robberies. Indonesia accounts for almost 20% of the global numbers, with 32 reported incidents compared to 21 over the same period in 2011. Twenty-eight of the vessels targeted were boarded, including 23 anchored vessels, two berthed and three that were underway. Guns have been reported on one occasion. IMB further noted that many other attacks may also have gone unreported.The IMB PRC remains the world’s only manned centre to receive and disseminate reports of piracy and armed robbery 24 hours a day across the globe. As part of ICC it is an independent body set up to monitor these attacks free of political interference. IMB strongly urges all shipmasters and owners to report all actual, attempted and suspicious piracy and armed robbery incidents to the IMB PRC. This is an essential first step in the response chain. The statistics and reports of the IMB PRC act as a catalyst to encourage firm response by government and law enforcement.[mappress]Naval Today Staff, July 18, 2012; Image: Inter Manager View post tag: IMB Drop in World Piracy in First Half of 2012, IMB Reports View post tag: of Back to overview,Home naval-today Drop in World Piracy in First Half of 2012, IMB Reports View post tag: piracy July 18, 2012 View post tag: worldlast_img read more


Headmaster claims public school students are disadvantaged

first_imgTHE Oxbridge admissions process discriminates against candidates from public schools in favour of state-educated applicants, according to Dr Anthony Seldon, Headmaster of the prestigious Wellington College.Dr Seldon has described the “hostility” against students from schools such as his as “the hatred that dare not speak its name”.The Oxford University Press Office told Cherwell, “Dr Seldon is quoted as  saying that this year he had 62 pupils clever enough to get an interview at Oxbridge, but he expected ‘only 20’ to be offered places – that’s a success  rate of over 30 per cent. Compare that to the overall success rates for all applicants (below 20 per cent) and independent school applicants (under 25 per cent).”Dr Seldon’s accusations came in the same week as the release of new data on university admissions, which showed that applicants from independent schools to Russell Group universities are achieving a success rate of over 75 per cent.For Oxford, the rate of entry was three in ten for privately educated candidates, higher than the overall acceptance rate. In total the figures show that 42.5 per cent of UK university offers went to independently schooled candidates.Such figures support comments made last Saturday in an open letter by Sir Peter Lampl, Chair of the Sutton Trust. He argued, “Despite improvements in access for state school students over the last 15 years, over four in ten Oxbridge students still come from schools attended by just seven per cent of the population”. One second-year PPEist commented, “When you consider that private school applicants overwhelmingly secure A and A* grades – a requisite condition for Oxbridge entry – the dominance of public school types begins to make more sense. The injustice lies not in Oxbridge selection procedure, but in the state education system’s failure to meet private sector standards.”last_img read more



first_imgWE CONSIDER OURSELVES TO BE A “BEACON OF LIGHT”The First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution states “Congress Shall Make No Law Respecting An Establishment Of Religion, Or Abrridging The Freedom Of Speech, Or Of The Press, Or The Right To Peaceably To Assemble, And To Petition The Government For A Redress Of Grievances”Over the years the City-County Observer has strived to serve as the “Community Watchdog” by sounding the alarm when the rights of the citizens are in danger of being violated by our elected and appointed officials.  We encourage our elected and appointed officials to always consider the welfare of our community.  We realize that a community can have no greater ambassador of goodwill than one which keeps its citizens informed about the accomplishments, failure, and triumphs of their community.The primary focus of this publication was built upon the foundation of providing our readers to meaningful information in order to enhance their quality of life. Our mission is to provide vital information concerning political, social, entertainment and dining, education, sporting events, obituaries and articles for your reading pleasure.We will strive to report and inform our readers about important issues that help shape their lives. We stride to educate and inform you about the competence and triumphs of our thee people in our area.We encourage you to send us any and all information to our email to inform of any events available to the public. Articles concerning a wedding, anniversaries, events, social gatherings, band and concert reviews. Please send this information to City-County [email protected] FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more


In Short

first_img== Panera recognised == == Costa turns to ads == Spanish manufacturer Europasty has invested E18m (£16.6m) to increase its production capacity for doughnuts. The firm, which specialises in par-baked bread and frozen pastries, has installed a new production plant and freezing warehouse, giving it a total capacity of 300 million units per year. In 2008, Europasty’s doughnut sales represented approximately 25% of the total Spanish market. Costa has launched its first advertising campaign this month, in an effort to draw customers away from Starbucks. According to claims made following a recent blind tasting by research company Tangible Branding, seven out of 10 people who saw themselves as ’coffee lovers’ preferred Costa’s cappuccino to that of its leading competitors. == Pennant purchase == US magazine Health recently voted the US’ largest bakery chain, Panera Bread, as the healthiest restaurant in the fast food category in the country, due to its wide menu offering and healthy choices, the use of healthy fats and preparations and healthy sodium counts.center_img McDonald’s is reported to be opening a number of its McCafé coffee houses in Israel. They will sell pastries produced in a factory in France, which also supplies a number of its European McCafé outlets, as well as sandwiches and cakes. == Israel for McDonald’s == US company Pennant Foods, a provider of speciality bakery products to the foodservice and retail industry, is to purchase a portion of the General Mills Bakeries and Food Service frozen bread dough business. The deal includes four US manufacturing facilities. == Spanish firm invests ==last_img read more


Col. Bruce Hampton Discusses Upcoming Star-Studded 70th Birthday Blowout In New Podcast Episode

first_imgThe latest episode of Live For Live Music Presents: Inside Out with Turner and Seth should appeal to a wide variety of cerebral music fans. In this week’s episode hosts Rob Turner and Seth Weiner conduct interviews with members of Moon Taxi as well as Lotus drummer Mike Greenfield. In addition to all that, the new episode features conversations with the one and only Col. Bruce Hampton, who will celebrate his 70th birthday with Hampton 70–his star-studded Atlanta blowout on May 1st–and Matt Wilson, the man with the plan who put together the sold-out event.You can listen to the new episode of Live For Live Music Presents: Inside Out with Turner and Seth below:The show begins with Wilson, who explains how a conversation with Duane Trucks at last year’s Candler Park Festival in Atlanta turned out to be the genesis of this historic Fox Theater event. Wilson also announces the exciting addition of Hampton’s Aquarium Rescue Unit bandmate Jeff “Apt. Q258” Sipe to the Hampton 70 lineup, which includes members of the Rolling Stones, Widespread Panic, Phish and the Allman Brothers Band, as well as musicians accomplished in their fields outside of music, like A-list actor/director Billy Bob Thornton and future Hall of Fame pitcher/Major League Deadhead Jake Peavy.Next, the Moon Taxi family graciously welcomes Seth and Rob onto their bus to explain how they got their shit together to self-release their debut CD while at Nashville’s Belmont University. “We recorded at a studio owned by some Belmont kids,” says front man Trevor Terndrup. “That’s why we got the ‘bro deal,’ goin’ in there. And we were all still in class.” The band talks extensively about songwriting, particularly on their song “Morocco,” and how their approach to writing songs as a band reflects the various styles of writers they have in their fold. They also discuss setlist strategies, “man-buns,” recording on vinyl, fan vocals, preparing for and performing full sets of Rage Against The Machine music, songwriting (particularly regarding “Morocco”) and having the opportunity to perform on the Late Show with David Letterman just weeks before Letterman retired. They also talk about how one of their original compositions led to them to sharing a stage with Derek Trucks at Bonnaroo, which in turn became one of the early highlights in the band’s career.The Derek Trucks theme continues as Colonel Bruce joins the show and says of Trucks, “I’ve never heard anybody with more tone on any instrument including Pavarotti, Horowitz or Mstislav Rostropovich.” While Colonel admits that while he initially was not thrilled with having a large concert in his own honor, he is glad to have been talked into it. When asked if he feels he will be embarrassed all night at this event, he exuberantly responds, “I live in the theater of embarrassment.” How songs will be selected at this one-time event, who the musical directors will be, and how The Colonel plans on handling the fact that everyone will want to play with him, are all on the table during these two segments with The Colonel. He also takes us back to the days of the Fillmore East with stories involving Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, and others.In between segments with The Colonel, InsideOut WTNS shares a December interview with Mike Greenfield of Lotus, who walks listeners through the differences between gigging in the Dominican Republic and gigging in Japan, chats about Lotus’ new approach to marketing, and explains how their latest album (and first release to feature vocals), Eat The Light, represents a new chapter for the band. He also reflects on the unique experience of playing drums in Lotus: “Everyone (in Lotus) has a place…..and it comes together in this one sound. And you can’t do anything more. It’s cool.” Greenfield continues, “If they are paying attention to the guitar players, I feel like I’m doing my job. Because drums are a foundational instrument….especially in a band like this, it’s not my job to shine….if we’re doing one of the vocal songs, it’s my job to support the vocalist, if (guitarist, Mike) Rempel is soloing, it’s my job to make him sound better.” Greenfield also elaborates on playing with members of the Disco Biscuits in Electron, the trickiest things about joining an established band such as Lotus, and about how he found a way to be with his wife for their birth of their daughter while Lotus was out on tour.Live For Live Music Presents: The Inside Out With Turner And Seth podcast is slowly but surely earning a reputation for delivering some of the most unique and in-depth music interviews in cyber-land. The program serves up behind-the-scenes “industry” perspectives with journalistic points of view and fan input to thoroughly tackle the vast world of organic music–with some laughs mixed in for good measure.**For more Inside Out With Turner And Seth episodes, head to their SoundCloud or their page on iTunes. You can also email the Podcast here, and submit feedback which may be incorporated into future episodes!**last_img read more


The Disco Biscuits Kick Off Washington D.C. Run With 9:30 Club Show [Full Video]

first_imgThe Disco Biscuits began their two-night run in Washington D.C. at the legendary 9:30 Club on Friday (January 12th). The show got 2018 off on the right foot for the band, as they dropped some of their most beloved songs like “Morph Dusseldorf” and impressed fans with tight transitions through inverted versions of “Digital Buddha”, “The Overture”, and “About the Waves.”The atmosphere in the venue quickly transitioned from immense anticipation to complete awe when the Biscuits opened with an intense, energetic “Shem Rah Boo” sandwich, during which Marc Brownstein showcased his ability to hold together the group. The Biscuits were relentless as they segued seamlessly into one song after the next, with Jon “Barber” Gutwillig dialed in on the guitar and Aron Magner ceaselessly stimulating the senses on keys and synthesizers.The second set was essentially one comprehensive “Morph Dusseldorf” sandwich with the inverted “Abraxas” being an unquestionable highlight of the set. The entire show was a non-stop immersive dance party, and the band rarely came up for air. The incredible, unceasing segues throughout coupled with the “Bazaar Escape” encore left everyone with their jaws on the floor and minds in the sky.Tonight (January 13th), Biscuits will be making their debut at The Anthem, D.C.’s newest music venue which is coincidentally owned by the 9:30 Club’s parent company, I.M.P. Productions. If Friday night was any indication of what Biscuits have in store for night two, they are about to break The Anthem in proper and burn down the house.[Video: The Disco Biscuits]Setlist: The Disco Biscuits | 9:30 Club | Washington D.C. | 1/12/2018Set One: Shem Rah Boo > Digital Buddha (inverted) > The Overture (inverted) > Shem Rah Boo, Little Betty Boop > The Champions > Little Betty BoopSet Two: Morph Dusseldorf > Abraxas (inverted) > Rock Candy > Cyclone > Above the Waves (inverted) > Morph DusseldorfEncore: Bazaar Escape[Photo: Brady Cooling]last_img read more


Signature signatures

first_img 16W.H. Auden, 1946 2Maxfield Parrish, 1901 11A 1948-49 page from the Morris Gray Signature Book at Harvard’s Department of English 3Mother Teresa, 1982 7Henry Kissinger, 2012, and Richard Nixon, 1969 20Helen Keller in 1955, the year she became the first woman to get an honorary degree from Harvard 8Igor Stravinsky, 1946 5Henry Dunster, 1642, the year Harvard graduated its first class 10Bono and talking tableware in 2001 (left) and Shakira’s “Lips don’t lie” signature in 2011 1John Hancock, 1754 14Iran’s Mohammad Khatami offered 2006 wishes for “truth, morality, and brotherhood.” 17Two rivals: W.E.B. Du Bois in 1935 and Booker T. Washington, circa 1903center_img 18Andrew Wyeth, 1955 13Former enemies Stjepan Mesic (Croatia) and Boris Tadic (Serbia) signed the Wadsworth House guest book in 2006 after a joint appearance at the Harvard Kennedy School. 4Charles Darwin, 1871, and Albert Einstein, 1943 15At the top, Anna Freud, 1980, the year she received an honorary doctorate 19An “unforgettable” Nelson Mandela, 1998 9David Souter, 2010 12“D.H. Thoreau,” who later took his middle name “Henry” as his first name, signs at the top of the page in a sheet of signatures from the Class of 1837. 6John F. “Jack” Kennedy, 1959 They loop and swoop and dip and dive. They jitter and circle and march in straight lines. Some are small, and some tall. Some are humble, others grand. These are the signatures of Harvard: the handwritten names of the famous who have visited the University.They are recorded in albums in places like Wadsworth House, a frequent stop for distinguished visitors, and the Department of English, which since 1939 has been collecting signatures from participants in its Morris Gray Lectures, including T.S. Eliot, Robert Penn Warren, Lillian Hellman, and Robert Frost.“There’s a lot of power in a signature,” as well as the tremor of history, said special projects assistant Sean McCreery, who watches over the Gray album. When poets and writers add to it, he said, “no one skips a page. They’re colleagues, either in spirit or flesh.”At the Harvard University Archives, there are millions of linear feet of correspondence and documents, often signed.  “It’s not like we have a collection of signatures,” said archivist Barbara Meloni, who one November day lined up boxes of samples. “You will find them everywhere.”From 1642, on paper the color of heavy cream, the archives record the stately inked signature of Henry Dunster, Harvard’s first president. The archives also contain an early example of the most famous signature of colonial America, that of patriot leader John Hancock, then a College senior. (It appears on a 1754 letter scolding his sister Mary for not writing.)At Wadsworth House, University Marshal Jackie A. O’Neill keeps an eye on visitors’ albums dating back to 1979. (Many older ones are housed in the archives.) It’s a graphologist’s feast: Lawrence Fishburne’s signature is 6 inches tall, Henry Kissinger’s is inscrutable, and Bono’s includes a cartoon of a fork, knife, and plate. (One of his causes is world hunger.)The Wadsworth albums include signatures from Jane Goodall, Ruby Dee, the Barenaked Ladies, Sinbad, and Mother Teresa (complete with a prefatory “God bless you”), as well as J.K. Rowling, Aga Khan, Gordon Brown, Doris Lessing, Queen Noor, and of that other Hancock, Herbie. The signature of James Gandolfini appears near that of Aung San Suu Kyi. Close by are Toni Morrison, Seamus Heaney, and Dan Aykroyd, who appended a few phony degrees. Anna Freud shares a page with Walter Cronkite. John Cheever included his address, as did Rodney Dangerfield.And there are surprises. In one 1915 Harvard class letter addressed to him, Robert Frost crosses out “Lee,” a middle name now lost to memory. In 1920, E.E. Cummings preferred “Edward Cummings.” Despite a brash reputation, Norman Mailer signed his name modestly small, as did Albert Einstein, whose influence has been immodestly large. W.H. Auden and Elizabeth Bishop had tiny signatures. Some signatures are impossible to decipher. Others are disarmingly clear. Richard Nixon signed in a cursive-clear, schoolboy hand.Both Andrew Wyeth and Maxfield Parrish signed bold and beautiful, as artists would. Nelson Mandela used just his last name, enough for a world that knows him well.Every Harvard signature contains a story, O’Neill said, “a way of explaining the long history of this place.” 21Pete Seeger, 1976last_img read more


Four sex offenses reported to NDSP

first_imgNotre Dame Security Police (NDSP) received four reports of sex offenses Jan. 18, according to Monday’s NDSP crime log. Two of the incidents allegedly took place in 2014 and one allegedly occurred in 2015, while the date of the fourth alleged incident is unknown.University spokesman Dennis Brown said in an email that NDSP received the reports anonymously and does not know if they came from one person or multiple people.The first complaint is an incident of indecent exposure, which occurred in March of 2014 in the Main Building, according to the report.The second and third complaints are reports of rapes that allegedly took place in the Main Building during November of 2014 and December of 2015, respectively.The fourth is an account of sexual battery that, according to the report, occurred in Flanner Hall.All four incidents are under Title IX investigation.Information about sexual assault prevention and resources for survivors of sexual assault are available online from NDSP and from the Title IX office.Tags: NDSP, NDSP crime log, Notre Dame Security Police, rape, sexual assault, Title IX, Title IX investigationlast_img read more


Hay there now

first_img“They had no carry over,” said Rossi. “And they needed a buffer this year.”According to a study done by the CAES Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, hay, forage and pasture losses will total about $330 million this year due to drought.Cattlemen had to dig deeper to pay for hay this summer, said Curt Lacy, a livestock economist with UGA Cooperative Extension. The increased demand plus higher fertilizer costs caused by spikes in fuel prices all contributed to higher hay prices.Two years ago, a ton of hay cost about $65. It was around $80 per ton last year. Cattlemen have paid $100 to $110 per ton this year, he said.But things are looking better. Hay yields and pastures are improving, and cattlemen are storing hay now. One cow needs about 2 tons of hay to keep it fed between November and April each year. An acre of managed pasture that would yield 5 tons to 7 tons in a good summer will likely only produce about 3 tons to 4 tons this summer, Rossi said.Cattle prices are good now, too. Some cattlemen may choose to sell, or cull, their herd size to cut feed costs, Lacy said. But cattlemen fear too many cattle at market can drive prices down. It’s a fine line deciding to sell or spend the extra money to keep them fed and healthy.Cattlemen don’t need to skimp on feeding their cows, Rossi said. If they do, it could lead to thin cows and low pregnancy rates.Georgia cattlemen will likely plant more cold-tolerant forages like oats, rye, ryegrass and some wheat for cows to graze this winter.“It could get ugly next spring, when there’s a good chance the hay will be used up,” Rossi said. “Most cattlemen now are hoping that the hay they can find now will hold out and that we have a mild winter in Georgia.”To learn about marketing and management strategies during drought, cattlemen can contact their local Extension office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1, or go to the Web site By Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaRains have perked up Georgia’s drought-parched pastures over the past few weeks. And cattlemen, who scrambled to sustain their herds this summer, are now storing up for the lean winter months. High heat and little rain in late spring and summer took a toll on Georgia pastures, said Johnny Rossi, a beef management specialist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Georgia cattlemen, depending on their location in the state, like to start grazing their herds in April or May when pastures of bermudagrass, bahiagrass or fescue shake off the cold and begin to green up. They usually start cutting pastures in June to store as hay to feed cattle in winter when pastures are dormant. They cut about three to four times throughout the summer.A drought like Geogia experienced this summer can throw things off.“We just didn’t get the rain we need to get pastures off to a good start or make a good hay crop this year,” Rossi said.In June, a third to a half of Georgia’s pastures were rated in poor to very poor condition, according to the Georgia Agricultural Statistics Service. And it only got worse in most places as the summer progressed.Half of the hay crop was in poor to very poor condition in late June, when cattlemen first start to cut hay. They usually harvest about a ton per acre. But this June they only got about half that if anything, Rossi said.The hay cattlemen were cutting or buying wasn’t being stored. It was being fed to cattle that couldn’t get enough grass from dry pastures. last_img read more


Overcoming Biases to Change a Culture

first_imgBy Marcos Ommati/Diálogo March 08, 2017 Women continue to win battles on the long and winding road to gender equality.U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Martha Herb is a diving, salvage, and surface warfare officer in the Explosive Ordnance Disposal community. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, she graduated from Lake Forest College with a Bachelor of Arts. In 2007 she was inducted into the Women Diver’s Hall of Fame and in 2010 was selected for flag officer rank. As Director of IADC, Rear Adm. Herb is bringing her “toughness” to influence changes in a traditionally male-oriented institution. Just as an example, she is only the second female officer to head the IADC since its inception in 1962. To talk about the challenges women in the military still face, Diálogo visited Rear Adm. Herb in her office at the IADC, in Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington D.C.Diálogo: Out of the 64 students attending IADC, only six are women. Does that bother you?U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Martha Herb: Yes. Getting more female students has been my number one priority. When I first got here [Rear Adm. Herb is serving her second two-year term at IADC], I added it to the IADC recruiting letter, and when I visit countries, I specifically talk to senior military leaders and officials about sending women to IADC.Diálogo: How do you try to convince these countries to send more female students to IADC?Rear Adm. Herb: Since each nation is at a different point in time in terms of their inclusion of women in the armed forces, I say to people that “I recognize you might not have senior women in your military yet but don’t think that you can’t send women to college. You have civilians serving in your government offices, you have police, and you have women with many different official skill sets within the government. You need to give these women the IADC opportunity.” To be effective in our mission, it is very important for the senior students here at IADC to have experience with women. Why? Simply stated, in eight or 10 years, some of the IADC students will become the next four-star or first general officer, and you want them to be prepared to advocate for advancing women’s issues in the military.Diálogo: The United States has come a long way in this matter, but senior military personnel in the country still recognize there is a lot to be done. How do you see this issue – women in the military – in the countries you work with in Central and South America, and the Caribbean?Rear Adm. Herb: It varies by country. Sometimes issues about women’s inclusion are driven by antiquated policies that make achieving the objective of female inclusion difficult. For example, a country, or even an organization, might establish an overarching objective of 50 percent female inclusion, but then the policies at the various levels throughout the country or organization might counteract the objective of inclusion.It takes a while to solve it. It is not only a policy issue, but female inclusion also involves changing a culture. Culture change is very slow, and some say it takes a generation or two! Policy and culture are two issues that make inclusion difficult. There are also biases, and everybody has them. I have biases, you have biases. It takes a while to recognize your own biases, overcome them, and change them. And that is why it takes so long to change a culture. On a more practical level, it is important to set standards. Set the standard and then expect everyone to achieve the standard. When there are consistent standards, everybody is eligible, everybody is expected to get the job done, and at that point, it does not matter if you are a male or a female. It is not relevant to the standard.Diálogo: Do you think ethnicity plays a role in the U.S. military, in addition to gender? If she is a Latina, does that make her life harder?Rear Adm. Herb: That is a great question. I would imagine, yes. But it is probably also related to someone’s upbringing – their cultural references, the way you were raised within your family, the value sets upheld in the family, and then your day-to-day behavior.I had a wonderful resource manager at IADC who was high-speed, really accomplishing great things and she will probably make general someday. She is Latina. She has been very, very successful, but I think she has worked at it. She’s been driven to stay true to herself and her culture while being the utmost professional in the military. Regardless of nationality, most women feel like others expect them to give 120 percent before it will be considered good enough.Diálogo: Do you think women still have to work harder than men, especially in the military?Rear Adm. Herb: Absolutely. And part of it is that we, as women, can be our own worst advocate – demanding more of ourselves than others expect from us. I think women, for the most part, are still less than 25 percent of the population [in the U.S. military] so we are still pioneers striving to be successful in a predominantly man’s world. There are just not a lot of us. You can go into a meeting and quite frequently, you will be the only woman there. As pioneers, sometimes we set standards for ourselves that for the most part are very, very high. We don’t cut ourselves much slack, and sometimes people are less harsh on us than we are on ourselves.Diálogo: Was it harder for you when you were a young officer, or after you became a general officer?Rear Adm. Herb: I think when I was a flag officer. When I was younger and new in the diving field, most of my fellow divers were very open about their thoughts regarding women divers… but then again, it was 1979! As a new flag officer, it was about proving that you were selected for your capability, leadership, and professionalism, and not because you were a woman. And I have to add a caveat to that. It is an honor and a privilege to be selected for this position. I have learned so much from other generals and admirals. The other caveat is related to my background in counseling and psychology. I’m a watcher – I watch things, I watch dynamics, I watch people. I weigh facts in conjunction with what I see in people. Sometimes, this is not the norm or process for making decisions.Diálogo: When do you think we will be able to speak about someone’s career without putting the word “female” before it?Rear Adm. Herb: I think we have improved immensely in that area. We are getting there.Diálogo: Does the fact that we are talking about this in an interview prove we are not there yet?Rear Adm. Herb: That’s true. I have been in the military long enough to say I have witnessed improvement. It is light-years from where we were back in 1979. So, I appreciate that the service has given me this tremendous opportunity to serve, have adventures, have fun, and do neat and different things. A lot of it was just timing and my little piece of history, so I think acceptance of women has changed enormously. Is that good enough? No. The acceptance of women is still driven by extraordinary women. Even today, many of the women in the military and police have a certain kind of personality – they work very hard, they are determined, they don’t give up, they are agile, they are adaptable – and these are the women who continue to advance. Yet, behind closed doors, these same women share their frustrations and disappointments on the bias that still exists.Diálogo: What is your take on women in the combat zone?Rear Adm. Herb: If they can do the job, let them do the job. It comes back to the standard. Some women are very talented. I was lucky because I was a very gifted athlete. So, by the time I entered the Navy to become a Navy diver, doing a lot of physical requirements and activities was no big deal. If my physical abilities are the gift God has given me, then let me use them. And I think that needs to be the standard across the board. Here is the standard, and here is what you need to be able to do to accomplish the mission. If you can meet the standard, then you can do the mission. However, since many men and women will meet the standard, it will be important to avoid “racking and stacking” qualified candidates based on the best to the worst. In the long run, in order to have female inclusion, you might need to have some quotas.Diálogo: Do you believe in the quota system?Rear Adm. Herb: No. First, everyone meets the standard. And then you have an entire group of people who have met the standard. For example, we have 100 people who meet the standard and we can only accept 75. And it just so happens that, because the standards were very high, the last 25 of the 100 who met the standard happened to be women. The net result: no women are accepted year, after year, after year. Is it because they couldn’t meet the requirement? Or are you saying that you have to meet the requirement, and you have to compete with the best to earn the top spots? It is an issue, but combat experiences have demonstrated the mission value of both genders participating in the mission.Diálogo: But the standards are made by men, for men, right? Should you keep it as is? Or should women have to step it up somehow?Rear Adm. Herb: Exactly, exactly. It really does not matter if the standard makes sense for the mission. And when you have women from athletic backgrounds, they already have all the physical training through their years as athletes. For example, I was a nationally ranked swimmer before I came into the military. When somebody told me, “You have to do pull-ups,” it was okay, [I had] no problem. But it wasn’t because I trained to meet the standard, it was because of all the years swimming back and forth in a pool that made it a lot easier for me.Diálogo: But people say, for instance, if you put Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams on the same tennis court — both great athletes as we know — Djokovic will win in the end, not because he is better than Serena, but because of the physicality of the game.Rear Adm. Herb: And I don’t have a problem with that. Men and women are different. If you can’t figure that out, then you need to get your eyes checked.Diálogo: How do you accommodate the needs of a woman based on the fact that they are clearly different from men? How do you address that? Let’s say, bathrooms in a submarine, for example.Rear Adm. Herb: When I first came into the military, there were rarely women’s bathrooms in many commands I went to because they didn’t have women. We had a little sign with ‘women’ on one side, and ‘men’ on the other, and you just flipped it over. When I went to dive school we didn’t really have a women’s locker room. There was a small bathroom with some lockers and two stalls with two women in the space at the same time. Needless to say, it could be challenging. For example, we were in the scuba phase of dive school, and we would get out of the water in a wetsuit, run up to the building — not near the water, of course. Then we would have to get out of our wetsuit, get cleaned up, get in our uniform, and get to class. You had maybe 10 minutes. It’s difficult to get out of a wetsuit in a small space with another woman trying to do the same thing, and then both of you getting time enough to take a shower. But, that is what we had at the time. And it was about passing dive school, not about the difficult environment. In a way, trials like that make you stronger and more resilient. Ultimately, you have to decide whether you are going to push beyond some of the difficulties. For me, I just wanted to be a Navy Deep Sea Diver.Diálogo: And how about pregnancy and family issues that are traditionally handled by women, especially in Latin America? How do you deal with that?Rear Adm. Herb: That is a problem. But the culture has to overcome that. Does she have a husband at home? The child is sick. Guess what? Dad, do your job! Fifty percent of that kid is yours. A dad shouldn’t wash his hands off and say ‘I don’t have to do anything.’ A couple has to figure it out, and they both have to participate. I was fortunate enough that when my husband and I decided to have children, I actually called my detailer and said, “Hey, we want to start a family,” and he said, “You are on shore duty, not a problem.” By the time I had the baby, my term of service on active duty was complete. But I transitioned to the Reserves because it provided me a way to do both – stay relevant in the military and still serve my country, while at the same time being home with my children. And then as my children got older, I had the opportunity to serve more days than the typical one weekend a month/two weeks a year. That is how my husband and I solved it. There are also women doing it all, while still maintaining their time on active duty: having kids, serving, all while on ships at sea. These women are amazing. The bottom line becomes what your family is comfortable with supporting.Diálogo: How difficult is it for a woman to deal with sexual harassment in the military?Rear Adm. Herb: It’s a very difficult thing to address. Even here, because as a woman you are torn with “I don’t want to create chaos so I will keep my mouth shut and endure.” But eventually, you get worn out. You just say, “I am done enduring, and will speak up.” Any leader, whether it is a male or a female, needs to pay attention to interactions between people. It’s not just what you are told, but also what you see. You need to watch and listen. That gets back to what I said earlier, I watch people. Because watching people will tell you more of what is going on in your command, than what is communicated.Diálogo: March 8th is International Women’s Day. Are you in favor of it, or against it?Rear Adm. Herb: We have days dedicated to everyone. We have a Mother’s Day, a Father’s Day. Why not a Women’s Day?Diálogo: But you don’t have a Man’s Day…Rear Adm. Herb: I know, but it’s Man’s Day every day! In all seriousness — and this will show my ignorance — the first Women’s Day I celebrated was in Afghanistan, and it was a very important Women’s Day because I can think of no better place to celebrate Women’s Day than in a culture where they have no opportunity, where they endure such hardship and put up with so much. So, I celebrated it with great reverence there. Now, on Women’s Day at IADC we have a gender conference, and to me it’s a way that I encourage the conversation in the hemisphere…Why not give women opportunities, why not find ways to say we will level the playing field? And then, those women who want to be in the military, or the police, or whatever profession, and they have the right personality, and the right physicality, by golly, let the women have the opportunity!last_img read more