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Conference cultivates naval leadership

first_imgOn Feb. 20-23, Naval ROTC midshipmen from units across the country gathered to participate in Naval Leadership Weekend on Notre Dame’s campus.Junior Max Brown said the conference emphasized developing ethical and effective leadership. “About 150 midshipmen and staff members came from all over the country to listen to really prolific and nationally outstanding leaders in the military,” he said. The conference provided midshipmen the opportunity to prepare for and examine ethical dilemmas, Brown said.Courtesy of MJ Jackson “We can all sit around the table and share and understand and form our own character and moral compass and ability to answer hard questions that we will be faced with as military officers in the future, beforehand, so that we’re ready to go forth when the time comes,” he said. There is also an ethical component to the conference, which Brown said emphasizes character development. “In the Navy, there are three things that we work for in midshipmen development: moral, mental and physical development,” he said. “Physical is making sure everyone is keeping in shape, mental is high standards for academics. “Notre Dame has always been able to lend a particularly salient perspective to [moral development], in the academic sense and the whole spirit of this place.” Freshman MJ Jackson said the symposiums and panels at the conference also discussed the qualities of successful leadership and cyber warfare. “We also talked about military ethics and emerging technologies in warfare and defense, and national security and the impacts those will have on our career as officers and the world in general,” she said. Colonel Frank Rossi, a professor of aerospace studies at Notre Dame, discussed the relationships between the military branches, Jackson said. “[He talked] about how relationships between Army, Air Force and Navy officers will become very important throughout our career,” she said. “We need to understand the different cultures of the different forces and learn how to relate to them because we are all fighting for the same goal.”Jackson said she appreciated the emphasis on communication between the branches of the military. “I think a lot of the times, in the military, competition between the branches is overstressed, instead of collaboration. I think we need time to understand each other better before we go out and have to interact in high-pressure situations.” The conference also provided the opportunity for midshipmen from different universities to meet each other, Jackson said. “It was really cool to interact with people who have very different backgrounds from me,” she said. “There’s an element of sameness because we are all going to be working together in the future, but it was kind of cool to see how some midshipmen from other schools have a completely different culture. “It was interesting to see people from different places all coming together to contribute their ideas and to have an ongoing conversation about leadership.”Brown said the large civilian population at the University makes it a unique venue for the conference. “A lot of other institutions don’t have the military component, a lot of times it’s just the military. Notre Dame provides a really cool opportunity to nationalize perspectives, and show that we’re an institution that has a broad variety of viewpoints,” Brown said. Jackson said she has since applied the topics discussed at the conference to her academic interests. “The panelist discussion we had was discussing the ethics of cyber technology and cyber warfare, so now I’m working with one of the professors to expand on that,” she said. “I’m researching the just war tradition as it applies to cyber technology and warfare.” Tags: NROTClast_img read more

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Transport for London pension fund drops LGIM for BlackRock

first_imgThe pair are two of the largest asset managers for UK pension funds, with LGIM having €372.6bn and BlackRock €380.1bn in pensions assets under management, according to figures provided to IPE.TfL’s decision to shift both mandates from LGIM to BlackRock will come as blow to the UK insurer’s in-house manager, which manages more UK pension fund assets than BlackRock, based significantly on its passive equity and LDI solutions.The LDI strategy for TfL will see the scheme’s assets hedged against inflation, interest rate and equity volatility, including some exposure to risk assets to generate investment return, BlackRock said.The TfL pension fund, in addition to its passive equity exposure through BlackRock, also holds close to one-third of its assets in active equity mandates with a range of managers and regions.It has close to 15% in alternative investments, including private equity, hedge funds and global infrastructure.Stephen Field, secretary of the TfL Pension Fund, described BlackRock as a key partner and said it would use the investments to “navigate changing market conditions”.“We have a duty to our fund members to ensure we employ the best investment solutions and consider all possible market risks and opportunities,” he added.Over the year to March 2014, the pension scheme broke the £7bn mark with a £5.9% investment return – 1.7% above its benchmark.Andy Tunningley, head of UK strategic institutional clients at BlackRock, said: “These are demanding times for pension funds, and the varied risks they face are best managed by understanding the true drivers of the underlying asset classes.” The Transport for London (TfL) Pension Fund has moved the majority of its assets from Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) to BlackRock as it takes on equities and liability management mandates.The pension fund had £7.3bn (€10.1bn) in assets at the end of March 2014 and has now signed up for a £1.6bn liability-driven investment (LDI) arrangement with BlackRock and a £2.2bn passive equity portfolio.Depending on the scheme’s investment performance between March 2014 and present, the US asset manager could be managing more than half of the invested assets.The pension scheme, which provides retirement benefits to employees of London’s transport network operator, ends a significant arrangement with LGIM on the two deals and adds to a £100m arrangement with BlackRock for renewable energy exposure.last_img read more

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MAN TOLD GARDAI HE WOULD GET CROWD TO BEAT HIM UP ON NIGHT OF ALL-IRELAND

first_imgA man threatened Gardai that he’d get a crowd of 600 people to beat him up on the night of the last year’s All-Ireland football final.Letterkenny court.Richard Rice of Claggan, Portsalon appeared before Letterkenny District Court charged with being intoxicated, causing a breach of the peace and giving a false name. The court heard how Rice, 23, refused to move on at Lower Main Street in Letterkenny on Septemebr 21st, 2014.Gardai approached Rice but he pushed the Garda on the shoulder and told him “I’ll get this crowd of 600 to beat the f*** out of you.”Solicitor Patsy Gallagher said his client had suffered from an ongoing issue with alcohol for a number of years.He added that his client had very little recollection of what had happened.Judge Paul Kelly ordered Rice to do a total of 80 hours community service – 40 hours for being intoxicated and a further 40 for refusing to leave the scene.MAN TOLD GARDAI HE WOULD GET CROWD TO BEAT HIM UP ON NIGHT OF ALL-IRELAND was last modified: April 23rd, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid review Subarus first PHEV offers its loyal customers

first_imgSource: Electric Vehicles Magazine This article appeared in Charged Issue 41 – January/February 2019 – Subscribe now. The prosReassuringly, the Crosstrek Hybrid remains every bit a Subaru. The hybrid variant shares all the Crosstrek’s appeal, as the sole compact hatchback that comes standard with all-wheel drive. And it delivered the brand’s legendary and reassuring traction on my steep, wet, muddy, uphill drive and a few other locations where traction was crucial.But as the name signals, if you evaluate the car purely as a hybrid, it does well. It’s rated at 35 mpg combined (versus 29 mpg for the standard Crosstrek with continuously variable transmission) and I saw 38.1 mpg on the trip computer over my time with the car. (I didn’t have enough time to test fuel economy by measuring the distance on multiple tankfuls, unfortunately.) Subaru says the hybrid Crosstrek can run solely on electric power at speeds up to 65 mph, and I confirmed that number – on flat or downhill roads under relatively modest power demand. It also quotes a 0-60 acceleration time that’s one second faster than the standard Crosstrek, though it doesn’t give actual numbers. The electric motors definitely gave the hybrid a bit of extra pep compared to the conventional model, which borders on slow.Subaru also gets points for smoothness and good blending of regenerative and friction braking. The smoothness is helped by the use of Toyota’s two-motor system, as opposed to the single-motor systems used in plug-in hybrids from Hyundai, Kia, Volkswagen and others.Finally, as a strong hybrid, I found it easy to keep the car accelerating on electric power alone. It’s not hugely fast, but neither is the Prius Prime whose battery and power electronics it shares. The Subaru, incidentally, doesn’t use the two-motor hybrid system from the Prius Prime, contrary to some reporting. Instead it uses the more powerful system from the Camry Hybrid. That was necessary to move a car that’s 500 pounds heavier than the standard Crosstrek, per Garrick Goh, Subaru’s US Car Line Planning Manager for Electrified Vehicles.The consThe Crosstrek Hybrid proved frustrating in a few ways, however. Unlike the Prius Prime, it’s not programmed to run entirely on battery power until its electric range is exhausted. Accelerate hard onto a highway, and the engine kicks on and stays on for a couple of minutes until the catalytic converter has warmed up.To be fair, that’s not terribly surprising. The Prius Prime was optimized for efficiency, with a much sleeker shape and lighter weight. The hybrid Crosstrek is an adaptation of an existing vehicle, retrofitted to meet California state regulations that require sales of set volumes of vehicles that have some zero-emission capability. It weighs more than 3,700 pounds, compared to the Prime’s 3,350 pounds.The Subaru also suffers from a noisy engine, an area in which the Prius Prime was vastly improved over its predecessor. Partly that’s because the flat-four engine note is more distinctive, but it’s also due to the fact that the engine has been retuned for maximum efficiency at higher speeds, with the battery providing the low to medium power the conventional car’s engine had to offer as well. When more power was needed, the result was thrashy and loud engine noise from under the hood, along with quite a lot of “motorboating,” or the experience of engine noise and road speed being entirely disconnected. Subaru’s conventional continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) have been tuned superbly to eliminate that sensation, so it was jarring to feel it return as if the car were an older Prius.There was also a remarkable amount of whine from the electronics, especially on deceleration, a problem I noticed Toyota has all but eliminated in the Prius Prime. Goh suggested that the majority of this was the car’s pedestrian-alert feature, which he likened to the whine of a 1960s flying saucer in a movie. Finally, the need to retrofit a largish battery pack into the Crosstrek while retaining mechanical all-wheel drive meant it couldn’t go under the rear seat as it does in the Prius Prime – which does not offer AWD. Instead, the battery sits under a considerably higher load deck, cutting into cargo volume in the same way it did in the (now discontinued) Ford C-Max Energi PHEV. A conventional Crosstrek has 55.3 cubic feet of cargo volume with the seat folded, and 20.8 cu ft with the rear seat up, and still has room for a space-saver spare. The hybrid has 22 percent less, at 43.1 cu ft (or 15.9 cu ft with the rear seat up), and no spare tire at all.Did the Subaru live up to its rated 17-mile range? More or less; I got 15 miles each of two times I charged to full and then ran the battery to empty. That’s within the 10-to-12-percent margin I give hybrids on ratings. Temperature played a role too: Unlike mostly temperate California, my upstate New York location saw temperatures that likely dipped below 40° F at night, and rose only into the low 50s at the warmest part of the day.How did we get here? I suspect Subaru is at best lukewarm about the prospect of building cars powered partly or in full by battery packs. The company had a small program 10 years ago that resulted in sales of about 400 Stella EVs, but that ended in 2011 after the minicar with a 9 kWh battery pack languished in the market. The powerful California Air Resources Board, however, has extended its ZEV sales mandate from the six largest makers to what it dubs mid-size manufacturers, including Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Subaru, Volkswagen, Volvo and others. Of those, Subaru and Mazda are the smallest non-luxury brands.Globally, Subaru sells only a bit more than one million vehicles a year, a total just one-tenth that of GM, Toyota, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, or the VW Group. So it has to spend its limited capital funds carefully and wisely. Over five years, it has completely redesigned its engine and launched a new vehicle architecture that underpins everything from the Impreza/Crosstrek compacts to the Ascent seven-seat crossover utility. That means that electric cars have been a distant second priority for the small company. It turned to Toyota for the electrical components, integrated into a car that kept its flat-four “boxer” engine and all-wheel drive. That’s the car I drove.As for the company’s future all-electric cars, we know considerably less. Subaru could turn to Toyota for the platform it will launch, reluctantly, in 2020. That’s what Mazda will do, for instance. But Subaru’s then-CEO Yasunuki Yoshinaga said in 2017 that the company planned to offer one or more existing models in fully electric versions, contrary to Mazda’s likely plans for a new model name affixed to its first all-electric production car.In the end, if you want a more fuel-efficient Subaru Crosstrek that works well (if noisily) as a conventional hybrid, this is your only choice – and a good one. If you want a Subaru that plugs in, it’s also your only choice. In either case, it’s a Subaru first and offers those qualities second, which will reassure loyal owners – of which the brand has a lot.Those dedicated owners who want the car, however, may have to work hard to get it. The company hasn’t commented on projected sales volume, but I strongly expect that it will sell only the number of units required to meet CARB ZEV regulations, and only in those states that follow California’s emission rules. That means California and Oregon first, with the rest of the California-rules states to follow. Subaru says every dealer in those states will have inventory of the hybrid, but like several other electric and plug-in hybrid cars, it will not be made available outside those areas. Dealerships in other states will not be offered the Crosstrek Hybrid.In those states, repairs to the car’s unique electrical and electronic components may take an extra day for the company to bring in a regional Field Service person who’s been trained on those components. (Regular servicing, which doesn’t include those components, can be accomplished at any Subaru dealer.) All things considered, I ended up liking the Crosstrek Hybrid. It’s a Subaru first and foremost, it’s fuel-efficient, and if you regularly plug it in, you can cover notable amounts of electric miles when your travels include shorter trips and lower speeds. Did I mention I tend to be partial to Subarus?The company says initial demand has been higher than it expected, but it’s still considering what sustained sales might look like. As of now, the plug-in hybrid Crosstrek is sold only in parts of the US, with plans for Canada now being developed.The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid I tested had a sticker total of $38,470, composed of the $34,995 base price; a $2,500 option package that bundled the power moonroof, heated steering wheel, navigation system, and HD audio; and a mandatory $975 destination and delivery fee. It is eligible for a $4,500 federal income tax credit and a $1,500 California purchase rebate, among other incentives.center_img Any new plug-in vehicle from a maker that hasn’t previously offered one is cause for excitement, even if volumes are low at first.So I approached my six-day test of the new plug-in Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid with anticipation. Sure, its rated 17-mile electric range is below the curve, but at least it’s a start – and with Toyota plug-in hybrid electrical components borrowed from the Prius Prime, I expect a Subaru PHEV to be a good new addition to the market. I should note up front that I’m on my fourth Subaru, this one an Outback that will celebrate its 20th birthday this fall at the relatively modest mileage of 138,000. Moreover, Subaru’s legendarily outdoorsy, nature-focused, active-sports buyers seem a very good fit for a car that can run at least partly with zero emissions from its tailpipe. My verdict after six days and 360 miles, covering about one-third urban and suburban errand duty and about two-thirds highway miles, was mixed.last_img read more

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