Mr. Austin Branch, Senior Director, Information Operations: Operating in the information environment no matter what is a critical component of how our Defense Department has to consider operating in the future, the digital age, the ubiquity of information…we have no choice but to be able to compete in this space. Because our adversaries and others are challenging us all the time, so we can’t ignore it. So we have to have the capability to be able to operate in this space and have the capabilities to be effective. The hard part, the challenge is how do you show real value in an enterprise that doesn’t immediately provide opportunities to show direct impact? It takes a lot of time of persistent, sustained engagement to show any kind of measure in change of anything it is we’re trying to shake our strategic objectives on, and particularly for any theater command. Interview with Austin Branch, Senior Director for Information Operations, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Policy), Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict That’s what they have to go back as champions of, and walk away knowing that they’ve got a better network of partners who have similar interests. So when they leave here, they’ll know they have friends not only in the United States, but in Guatemala, in Peru, in Panama. They’ll know who the other people are that have shared challenges. DIÁLOGO: How do you see Information Operations (IO) moving forward in the future? DIÁLOGO: What is the biggest lesson you’d like the partner nations attending the IO SMEE to take back with them regarding IO? DIÁLOGO: What can the U.S. learn from its counterparts regarding IO? Mr. Branch: For operating in the information environment, it’s not just IO. IO is a military term, more importantly all of our colleagues, and all of our friends, and our international partners, they may not have the same idea of what IO is, so I want to set that aside. I want to make sure people are talking about our ability to effectively operate in a complex information environment. So why is that important for our friends and our partners? Because we, the United States, do not have the monopoly on the information space, –in fact, we’re probably one of the most challenged countries in the information space domain¬¬–, because we’re so vulnerable, but at the same time, we need to collaborate with our partners, it’s an all-in proposition. (US + partners)They have as much equity and as much stake as we do in being effective, because it’s a global common, and so we have to be able to do that. They have a stake in this as well. Our ability to make sure that we have some comparable capabilities and understanding is absolutely essential to ensuring security and stability in the various regions where we have common objectives. It’s as simple as that. Mr. Branch: Well, it’s not just an IO mission; it’s a whole mission of engagement. And this exchange of information, transparency, having a general understanding, a common understanding of how we think; this information environment is challenging us, and how might we address it in a common way? It’s not about us empowering them; it’s a mutual empowerment of capabilities. There are a lot of ideas, there’s a lot of development, there’s a lot of experience in our partners that they can share with us, so it’s as rich of an engagement for us, as it might be for them. I am always looking to learn as I go into these types of engagements with our partners in Central and South America, because this information space levels the playing field and we do not have the strategic advantage. We’re all the same. Mr. Austin Branch: Operating in the information environment is very complex and because it’s so difficult to measure in the short term, they have to go back to their own headquarters and be advocates for this. Say, “Listen, no matter what we do, we have to invest in technologies, in methods, in applications; we have to partner with not just the U.S., but others, so we can learn how to operate in this space. This is the information age. We built tanks in the industrial age, we’re building capabilities to operate in the information environment, via the web or other tools like social media, all of that in the electromagnetic environment, the Internet, all those things play huge roles, so how do we ensure that we do it in the most effective and appropriate way? In mid-April, the Information Operations (IO) divisions from U.S. Southern Command and U.S. Northern Command co-hosted an IO Subject Matter Expert Exchange, bringing together military representatives from ten countries from within the Americas to discuss lessons learned, best practices, and the ways ahead on this domain. Austin Branch, Senior Information Operations Director at the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Policy) came to Miami to take part of the exchange and urge participants to really work together and convert plans into actions. Mr. Branch also took some time to talk to Diálogo one-to-one on this topic. Mr. Branch: A lot. Well one of the things we really do poorly is we don’t really understand the audiences we wish to engage and shape. We often mirror image, we often presume, and so our colleagues and friends can share with us and get a better understanding of the elements of influence, the elements, the challenge, the interests, attitudes, and behaviors. We often get this wrong, so we can really benefit from their perspectives, from their experiences. It’s more important that we listen rather than talk. We have to go in hat in hand. DIÁLOGO: What is the importance of collaborating with partner nations for IO? They’ve got to go back as champions of that because there’s a general sense from folks that it’s too complex. People just push back and don’t want to get involved because it’s so difficult to understand. They think it’s just dealing with the Internet or just dealing with the media, but it’s more than that, it’s a whole complex layer of things, and you need professionals who understand how to bring those things together to combine hard science: the electronics, the bits, bytes, trons… with the soft science: the behavior, the cognitive piece, because there are people on the other end of those computers. What is it that they think, what do they know? By Dialogo May 01, 2013 DIÁLOGO: What is the value of this exchange for the United States’ IO mission in Latin America?
Baylee Douglass stood in the circle and watched as her best friend, Jessica Heese, entered the batter’s box. Earlier in the game, Heese knocked a home run off the starting pitcher. When Douglas took the circle, Lynn, her father, told her to hit Heese with a changeup to avoid pitching to her. After Heese drew a full count, Douglass drilled Heese with a fastball.“Jess turned around at me and looked at me and threw the bat at me,” Lynn said of the summer league game, “I was like ‘I told her to hit you with a changeup.’”Douglass and Heese spark each other. And for the first time in two years, they’re teammates at Syracuse (6-3). Through seven games, Heese is batting .273 with two RBIs. Though Douglass has struggled, allowing nine earned runs in just over seven innings, she remains in the rotation. They are two of four transfers Syracuse head coach Mike Bosch signed this year.Douglass played two years at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, where she earned Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Year honors in 2015. As a sophomore, she won 18 games with a 1.85 earned run average. Heese, meanwhile, finished 2016 at Southern Illinois-Carbondale with 27 RBIs and third in the Missouri Valley Conference with 14 doubles.The competition between the two in high school turned into motivation and brought them closer. Douglass would often stay with Heese for several days at a time after making the near three-hour drive to Kansas City. Heese’s mother, Stephanie, said she barely knew that they were there. She said they were always out playing softball.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Baylee would pitch, and Jessica would hit,” she said. “And they’d bring whoever else they could with them.”Stephanie Heese remembered a tournament in which the pair played during high school. One cold morning in Athens, Georgia, they were playing against a team with a lot of future Power 5 players.Douglass shut the opposition down. Hitters didn’t figure her out until it was basically over. Offensively, Heese ripped a triple down the right field line against an Alabama-bound pitcher. Yet both Douglass and Heese landed in mid-majors, where they continued to face each other during the regular season.Besides the annual matchup against each other, the competition of mid-majors wasn’t enough. Douglass ripped through batters en route to a 2.04 ERA and Heese finished second on the team in RBIs and fourth in SIU history in single-season doubles. But both players realized their only chance at legitimate competition was to leave, with Douglass saying she urged Hesse to transfer.Heese and Douglass moved across the country and found a home in Syracuse, where Heese starts in the outfield and Douglass pitches. On and off the field, the roommates stick by each other’s sides, whether on trips to Wal-Mart or dinner dates.“We go on more dates than her and her actual boyfriend do,” Heese said.Still, their competitiveness shines through. At summer ball, Heese would take more attempts hitting off of Douglass than anyone else, and she brought that to college. The loser does dishes. As fierce as they may be, the two are each other’s strongest support systems.“It’s just fun having my best friend playing with me again,” Heese said. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 21, 2017 at 12:09 am Contact Matt: [email protected]
South Africa is a subtropical region, moderated by ocean on two sides of the triangle-shaped country and the altitude of the interior plateau. These account for the warm, temperate conditions so typical of South Africa – and so popular with its foreign visitors.Swimmers enjoying the waves at Umhlanga Rocks, KwaZulu-Natal province: Beach scene. (Image: Brand South Africa)Brand South Africa reporterThe country is bordered on the west by the Atlantic Ocean and on the east by the Indian Ocean; their waters meet at Cape Agulhas, at the southernmost tip of the continent.The coastline stretches 2 798 kilometres from a desert border with Namibia in the northwest, down the icy Skeleton Coast to Cape Agulhas, then up along the wide beaches and green hills on the coast of the Indian Ocean, to the border with subtropical Mozambique in the northeast.Sea surface temperature influences the climate of South Africa’s coastal regions: the warm subtropical east and the cooler regions of the west coast. (Animation adapted from NOAA Oceans Visualizations by Mary Alexander)South Africa is famous for its sunshine. It’s a relatively dry country, with an average annual rainfall of about 464mm; the world average is about 860mm. While Western Cape gets most of its rainfall in winter, the rest of the country is generally a summer-rainfall region.Temperatures in South Africa tend to be lower than in other countries at similar latitudes – such as Australia – mainly because of its greater elevation above sea level.On the interior plateau, the altitude – Johannesburg lies at 1 694 metres – keeps the average summer temperatures below 30°C. In winter, for the same reason, night- time temperatures can drop to freezing point, and lower in some places.South Africa’s coastal regions have the warmest winter temperatures in the country. There is, however, a striking contrast between temperatures on two different coasts, a result of the warm eastern Agulhas current and cold western Benguela current that sweep the coastlines.In the southern hemisphere our seasons are opposite to those of Europe and North America, so, yes – we spend Christmas on the beach! Summer Boulders Beach in Simonstown south of Cape Town is famous for its African penguin colony. Summertime on the Cape peninsula has glorious months of rain-free sunshine. (Image: South African Tourism)Over much of South Africa, summer, which lasts from mid-October to mid- February, is characterised by hot, sunny weather – often with afternoon thunderstorms that clear quickly, leaving a warm, earthy, uniquely African smell in the air.Western Cape, with its Mediterranean climate, is the exception, getting its rain in winter. Autumn Vineyards in the Hex River Valley winemaking region of the Western Cape. (Image: South African Tourism)Autumn in South Africa is from mid-February to April. It offers the best weather in some respects. Very little rain falls over the whole country, and it is warm but not too hot, getting colder as the season progresses.In Cape Town, autumn is fantastic, with hot sunny days and warm, balmy nights which many people spend outdoors. Winter Wild waves break against the rocky shore of the Wild Coast in the Transkei region of the Eastern Cape. (Image: South African Tourism)Winter in South Africa – from May to July – is characterised in the higher-lying areas of the interior plateau by dry, sunny, crisp days and cold nights, sometimes with heavy frosts. It’s a good idea to bring warm clothes.Western Cape gets most of its rain in winter, with quite a few days of cloudy, rainy weather that can be quite stormy with high winds. On 1 June 2013, for example, a cold front accompanied by an intense upper-air trough led to heavy rains and flooding in places over Cape Town, mainly in the informal settlements.Heavy snow falls occurred over the high-lying areas in the south-western parts of Western Cape and Northern Cape, while it was extremely cold over the interior of the two provinces.However, wonderful days are spread throughout winter that rival the best of a British summer.The hot, humid KwaZulu-Natal coast, as well as the Lowveld (lower-lying areas) of Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces, offer fantastic winter weather with sunny, warmish days and virtually no wind or rain.The high mountains of the Cape and the Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal usually get snow in winter. Spring Springtime daisies carpet the Namaqualand region of the Northern Cape. (Image: South African Tourism)Nowhere in South Africa is spring, which lasts from August to mid-October, more spectacular than in Northern Cape and Western Cape. Here the grey winter is forgotten as thousands of small, otherwise insignificant plants cover the semi-arid plains in an iridescent carpet of flowers.The journey to see the flowers of the Namaqualand is an annual pilgrimage for many South Africans. Best time of the year to travel? An old car holds a garden of succulent plants outside a roadside stall in the Northern Cape. (Image: Media Club South Africa)That depends on what you want to do. The Namaqualand flowers are obviously best in August and September. Winter is a good time for game watching, as the veld is not as lush as it is in summer and the lack of rain means animals are more likely to congregate around water holes and rivers.Southern right whales hang around off our coasts from about mid-June to the end of October, making for spectacular whale watching.Diving is best in most of the country outside summer (ie, from April through September), and so is surfing – but that certainly doesn’t limit either activity to those times.River rafting is better in Western Cape at the end of winter, and in KwaZulu-Natal in the height of summer (late November to mid-February). In Mpumalanga and Limpopo, it’s less time dependent.The “shoulder” seasons – spring and autumn – are best for hiking, as summer can be hot over most of the country. In the Drakensberg, summer thunderstorms are dangerous, while there is a good chance of snow in winter. In Western Cape, the winters are wet, so it’s not necessarily the best time for hikes.If you’re a birder, the palaeoarctic migrants arrive around November and the intra- African migrants usually by mid-October.Of course, if you want to lounge around on the beaches, mid-summer is the best time – though everyone else will be there too. And – big bonus – the beaches of northern KwaZulu-Natal are warm and sunny even in midwinter.Gallery: South Africa’s plant lifeRead more:Sout h Africa’s wildlife wondersWhale watching in South AfricaAdventure experiencesSouth Africa: coastal playgroundSouth Africa’s year-round beachesScuba diving in South Africa SouthAfrica.info reporter and South African TourismUpdated: 8 November 2015Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SouthAfrica.info material
Reigning champion Ceres-Negros battled from a goal down twice to salvage a 2-2 draw with Stallion Laguna last Saturday night in the Philippines Football League at Rizal Memorial Stadium.But Ceres’ Serbian coach Risto Vidakovic was far from pleased over the Busmen’s showing, calling it their “worst game this year.”ADVERTISEMENT DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:25Villar on rant vs DA budget: It’s not against research02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Felipe rules weather-shortened PRURide View comments MOST READ Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP “Maybe we underestimated Stallion,” said Vidakovic. “Maybe it was too difficult to motivate the players with the AFC Cup (two weeks ago) and now playing in the [domestic] league.”But Stallion came prepared against the two-time champions, pouncing on an early mistake as Senegalese striker Abou Sy intercepted a weak pass from Ceres Spanish striker Bienve Maranon before racing away and rifling a shot to the top corner in the fifth minute.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsMartin Steuble pulled Ceres level with a curling effort in the 24th minute, but the Busmen trailed again four minutes later after Carli De Murga’s back pass for goalkeeper Roland Muller went straight to goal.Maranon made amends with a 52nd minute header off a Stephan Schrock pass for the equalizer and while both teams failed to score from there, Vidakovic felt Stallion deserved to win. Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too “I think Stallion deserved to win because we played our worst game this year,” said Vidakovic. “We gave them two goals at the beginning and it was really hard because the pitch is too slow. Its hard to play fast and to create space.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue LATEST STORIES
APTN National NewsIt was a long painful day. Family members had four minutes at a meeting with provincial, territorial and federal politicians to explain what losing a loved one has done to their lives.Michele Pineault was one of them.Her daughter’s DNA was found on Robert Pickton’s farm.Michele spoke to APTN’s Cheryl McKenzie about the meeting and how it made her feel.