Colombian Police Dismantle Two Drug-Trafficking Organizations

first_imgBy Dialogo December 23, 2011 The Colombian police reported the arrest of 15 people involved in trafficking cocaine to Central America and Europe, resulting in the dismantling of two drug-trafficking organizations. The director of the Anti-Narcotics Police, General Luis Pérez, specified that Operation Republic 60 “succeeded in unraveling a drug-trafficking network that was producing and selling cocaine ultimately destined for Central America and Europe.” Following ten months of investigation, the police succeeded in focusing in on and identifying seven people who led a “transnational network dedicated to the manufacture and sale of narcotics” from the city of Cúcuta (in northeastern Colombia, on the border with Venezuela), he explained. “Among those arrested is Juan José Ramírez, who led this criminal network and handled its contacts both in Colombia and abroad for the shipment of cocaine using private cars that he adapted with hidden compartments,” he specified. The investigators “succeeded in establishing that this criminal group had its own ‘rustic’ laboratories for producing the alkaloid, providing them with the facilities to manufacture around 20 kilos of cocaine a week,” Pérez added. On a different topic, the police commander also reported the arrest of four people who led a network for the shipment of cocaine to Central America and Europe via the export of merchandise from the ports of Santa Marta, Barranquilla, and Cartagena (in northern Colombia), on the Caribbean. Juan David Ibañez, the head of the organization, “illegally made the administrative arrangements for the merchandise to be exported, which he ‘contaminated’ at the time it was loaded into containers,” he explained. The investigation, which lasted a year, determined that this process took place every two or three months, with shipments of between 100 and 150 kg of the drug. The four arrests were made in operations carried out in the cities of Pereira (in central Colombia), Medellín (in the northwest), and Barranquilla (in the north).last_img read more

Investors turn to government bonds amid market uncertainty

first_imgIndividual investors are showing growing appetite for government bonds (SBN) because the low-risk securities provide promising returns amid uncertain market conditions, financial analysts have said.Jason Gozali, founder and CEO of Investor Muda, one of the biggest investor communities in Indonesia, said that investors’ appetite in SBN was growing.“So far, retail investors’ interest in SBN is increasing because it is considered low-risk in comparison to other volatile assets,” he said in Jakarta on April 14. This did not mean, however, that many investors in the equity market had switched to the bond market, said Jason. On the contrary, many online stock trading sites had seen more than a 20 percent rise in trading value compared to last year’s figure.More moderate millennial investors preferred bonds as their investment vehicle and more aggressive millennial investors generally purchased bluechip stocks while they were still cheap, explained Jason, who is also a fund manager and investment consultant.“With the ongoing volatile condition and economic [slowdown], investment potential in bond instruments, including retail bonds, are becoming more attractive,”  head of fixed income research Handy Yunianto of Mandiri Sekuritas  told The Jakarta Post on April 15.With close to zero risk, relatively short tenors and attractive yields in comparison to the market interest rate, government bonds were among the top picks in investment, he elaborated. Handy shared Jason’s view that the growing interest in bonds did not indicate that equity investors had migrated to the bond market.  Each investor had their own risk-return preference, he noted.“However, investing in bonds might see a slight increase” on expectations of lower interest rates, he said, stabilizing currency and curtailing economic growth.Assistant vice president Adra Wijasena of RHB Sekuritas Indonesia told the Post on Friday that in spite of current global uncertainties prompting retail investors to hold on to their cash, investing in SBN was still attractive.Adra explained that liquidity risk could be minimized as long as the trading volume and frequency of SBN in the secondary market was still “quite good”.The confidence of retail investors was apparent in the latest issuance of sharia-compliant government retail bonds (Sukri), while the government saw oversubscription of its Sukri SR-012 bond series between Feb. 24 and March 18.“The public response was very good,” government debt papers director Deni Ridwan of the Finance Ministry told the Post on May 14.The government raised its bond issuance target from an initial Rp 8 trillion (US$537.53 million) to Rp 12.14 trillion, according to the Finance Ministry’s financing and risk management office (DJPPR).But the Sukri SR-012 saw a little under 24,000 buyers compared to 35,000 buyers for the Sukri SR-011 in 2019. The demographics of bond buyers had also changed, with millennials making up 39.58 percent of SR-012 buyers and baby boomers making up 36.5 percent of SR-011 buyers, according to DJPPR data.“Details on the [bond] type and amount are still under discussion. Hopefully, we will be able to publish the information in the near future,” Deni said, when asked about the upcoming issuance of retail SBN in June.The government plans to issue the retail savings bond (SBR) series SBR-010 from June 23 to July 9, according to the Finance Ministry’s issuance calendar.The government also plans to issue six SBN bonds this year, down from 10 bonds last year. Government bonds have a key role in financing the state budget and the national COVID-19 mitigation efforts.“We will prioritize SBN issuance through a market mechanism, including retail [bonds], [valued at] around Rp 50 to Rp 70 trillion,” Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on April 30 at a working meeting with House of Representatives Commission XI overseeing financial affairs.Topics :last_img read more

NHL playoffs 2019: Blues’ Jordan Binnington continues stellar play in Game 1 win over Stars

first_imgJordan Binnington added another strong performance to his rookie postseason campaign Thursday night.The 2011 third-round draft pick made 27 saves in the Blues’ 3-2 win over the Stars in Game 1 of their second-round series. Binnington’s five wins in the 2019 playoffs make him the winningest rookie netminder in St. Louis postseason history.  Excluding Game 3 of the first round against Winnipeg, in which he allowed six goals, Binnington has a goals-against average of exactly 2.00 and a .931 save percentage.The Blues were outshot 29-20 in the game so Binnington’s play will continue to be crucial going forward if his teammates aren’t able to create more scoring opportunities.Jordan Binnington improved to 5-2 in the 2019 #StanleyCup Playoffs and established a @StLouisBlues record for most wins in a postseason by a rookie goaltender.He eclipsed the mark of four set by Jacques Caron in 1972 (4-5) and matched by Curtis Joseph in 1990 (4-1). #NHLStats— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 26, 2019Binnington and the Blues will face the Stars in Game 2 on April 27.last_img read more

County Commissioners Honor Rochester School District for Water Quality Efforts

first_imgThe county is actively seeking other school districts to take part in the Stormwater Rate Credit Program. Facebook1Tweet0Pin0OLYMPIA – Thurston County Commissioners are recognizing the Rochester School District for partnering in an effort to protect groundwater and to provide education about the importance of water quality.  The district is the first in the county to partner with the Thurston County Stormwater Utility to complete the pilot Stormwater Rate Credit application. Under the program, the district completed a comprehensive inspection and maintenance of their stormwater facilities which are critical to providing water quality treatment for pollution in runoff from impervious surfaces such as parking lots.  Thurston County Commission Chair Cathy Wolfe says this is a win for the school district and the community.  “We appreciate the willingness of the district to become involved in this program.  This partnership between the district and the county will help with the upkeep of their storm water facilities while at the same time contributing to the protection of groundwater in the area.”  Rochester Schools Superintendent Kim Frye says the district is grateful to Thurston County for this program and the stormwater rate credit. “When we pay less in fees, it allows us to keep the limited education funding we have in our classrooms directly impacting student learning.”center_img There is also an important education component to the program.  The Rochester School District’s inclusion of comprehensive water resources materials, curriculum and activities, helps students learn about the importance of protecting and preserving critical water resources. In recognition of their participation in the watershed education program and the “Chehalis Basin Education Consortium”, and their inspection and maintenance activities, the District earned a 50% rebate    of 2011 county stormwater fees.  The total amount returned to the district was $9,071.5.last_img read more

Africa Best Practice Business Forum to Kick-off in Lomé

first_imgThe Africa Best Practices Forum which is also intended as an exchange and a business platform will bring together African and international experts, public and political officials, private sector executives and stakeholders to Lome, Togo to share their experiences with reforms that stimulate growth and employment in the sub-region.The forum is organized by the Pan-African bank Ecobank, recruitment agency AfricSearch and company Ellipse Communication which are working together with support from the World Bank and the West African Development Bank (BOAD), which is dedicated exclusively to improving the business framework and environment in Africa.  “This forum will be an arena for discussions among public and private sector decision-makers in Africa. It will deepen a dialogue on the dissemination of best practices, one that is more important now than ever before,” asserts Didier Acouetey, founder of the recruitment agency AfricSearch.  Two hundred (200) persons are expected in Lomé, Togo. They include Cheikh Hadjibou Soumaré, President of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) Commission, Christian Adovelande, President of BOAD, Hervé Assah, World Bank representative for Togo, Alioune Sall, Executive Director of the think tank African Futures Institute, Cody Lee, Director of the Singapore Business Federation, Felix Bikpo, Chief Executive Officer of African Guarantee Fund, Jean-Louis Ekra, President of Afreximbank, Amadou Kane, former Finance Minister of Senegal, and Momar Nguer, Africa Director of Total Supply & Marketing.  Delegations from Morocco, Rwanda and Singapore will attend. The subjects addressed during the two-day forum will include legal and administrative reform, government modernization, and creation of an environment favorable to private sector development and integration of multilateral instruments.  A special session will be devoted to innovative reforms. Various tried and tested models from around the world will be analyzed in a round table. Finally, a session will be dedicated to new financing methods such as PPP, financial markets and private equity.  “Because the level of investment depends on reforms undertaken by African states, there is an urgent need to accelerate these reforms to promote social and economic change, with the private sector acting as a lever,” concludes Arsène Johnson, the forum sponsor. The forum will begin on the 26 to 27 of February, 2015.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

49ers cut ties with one of their pricier free agents

first_imgSANTA CLARA — Linebacker Malcolm Smith’s injury-laden tenure with the 49ers won’t continue into a third season.Smith was released ahead Wednesday, ahead of Thursday’s exhibition finale against the Los Angeles Chargers and in anticipation of Saturday’s mandatory cutdown to a 53-man roster.DENVER, CO – AUGUST 19: Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders #10 of the Denver Broncos runs with the football as fullback George Aston #39 of the Denver Broncos blocks outside linebacker Malcolm Smith #51 of the …last_img

New Dinos Found; What Do They Mean?

first_imgThere is often a wide gap between the bones that are found and the stories that are told about them.  As new dinosaur bones come to light, some reporters cannot resist imagining all kinds of things about their lifestyles.  Here are two recent examples.  As a bonus, we’ll add a non-dinosaur reptile story or two.Mongolia: It’s a Bird!  It’s Plain!  Ker Than reported on two “raptor”species unearthed in Mongolia in Live Science.  He quickly associated these with alleged “feathered dinosaurs” like Microraptor gui.  But wasn’t that a bird?  He claimed that dromeosaurs were bipedal dinosaurs that “were closely related to birds and many of them are even known to have had feathers.”  (For more on Microraptor gui, see the 05/19/2003 entry and analysis by Jonathan Sarfati at Answers in Genesis.)Fallout Shelter:  Charles Q. Choi at Live Science reported on the find of an underground den of dinosaurs found in Montana.  The setting and the shape of the snout and legs suggested that Oryctodromeus cubicularis, “digging runner of the lair,” dug burrows – the first dinosaur found with that ability.  Choi connected that with the K-T extinction and suggested that these dinosaurs “dug deep, possibly to avoid catastrophe.”  See also the BBC News.Lizard slithered:  Jeanna Brynner wrote in Live Science about a lizard having nubs for front legs.  This was provided as support for evolution: the fossil, she said, is “clarifying how some lizards shed their limbs as they crept through evolutionary time and morphed into slinky snakes.”  Another paleontologist said this provided a window into what was happening 100 million years ago.  “We now know that losing limbs isn’t a new thing and that lizards were doing it much earlier than we originally thought.”    Another surprise was noted.  Losing the front limbs first seems odd, “when you would think it would be the opposite.”  Wouldn’t a handicapped lizard shove its face into the dirt?  “The front limbs would be useful for holding onto dinner or digging a hole, but it must be developmentally easier to get rid of the forelimbs,” confessed Michael Caldwell (U of Alberta).  The end of the article contains a key disclaimer about the evolutionary value of this fossil: “Though the lizard find does not make for a ‘missing link,’ Caldwell suggests it suffices as a critical data point for helping scientists understand the aquatic process of limb loss.”  National Geographic and EurekAlert also reported on this story.  Question: has anyone proved this individual was not an unfortunate mutant?Leapin’ lizards:  Another fossil lizard shows extended vertebra the discoverers believe allowed it to glide like a flying squirrel.  For a picture, see Live Science.  This had nothing to do with other flying reptiles, the pterosaurs, which were capable of true powered flight.  There are “dragon lizards” in Asia capable of gliding today.  Another gliding lizard fossil is known in Triassic strata.  The discoverer made this tie-in to evolution: “It is really amazing to see evolution making nearly identical structures in animals of different origins spanning such a long history.”Inferring behavior, ecology and motivation is keeping paleontologists busy.  “We may not have resolved all that dinosaurs can do,” said one paleontologist.Evolutionary paleontology is 30% digging and 70% storytelling.  Maybe they think details about dry bones will bore the public.  Everybody wants to hear a good campfire story, whether or not it is true.  The more fanciful the better.  The next theory will be that dinosaurs could sing, dance and play chess (cartoon).    Ezekiel told of a valley of dry bones that came to life (Ezekiel 37) but that was only a parable, and the resurrection occurred by intelligent design.  The evolutionists tell their stories as if they believe them to be literally true.  But can a consistent materialist conjure up behavior, motivation and intention from dry bones?  Bones are designed; tell the Darwinist who engages in such flights of fancy, “Get your own dirt.” (See joke).    For those needing alternatives to the evolutionary interpretations of dinosaur bones, see the recent article in Answers magazine about sauropods, and in Journal of Creation about alleged “feathered dinosaurs.”(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SA, Boeing in titanium technology deal

first_img “Our research and development agreement with the CSIR adds a new dimension to Boeing engagement in South Africa,” said Boeing’s international vice president for Africa, J Miguel Santos. “We are collaborating to leverage expertise and resources to advance South Africa’s development goals and the competitiveness of Boeing products,” Santos said. “Boeing Research and Technology conducts its own research and works with partners around the world to find technologies that are innovative and affordable.” SAinfo reporter 13 June 2013 South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and US aerospace giant Boeing have signed an agreement to collaborate on the research and development of titanium powder for industrial manufacturing processes in the aviation industry. South Africa boasts the second-largest reserves of titanium ore in the world, and the CSIR has developed and patented technology that converts titanium tetrachloride to titanium powder. “This mutually beneficial agreement, bolstered by South Africa’s rich titanium ore reserves, supports the nation’s long-term economic development goals that include the supply of titanium to many industries, including aerospace,” the CSIR said in a statement on Tuesday. The deal cements the titanium beneficiation cooperative research plan agreed on by the two organisations in 2012. “Boeing’s competencies and experience regarding the applications of titanium in aerospace parts and structures will hugely complement the CSIR’s drive towards commercialisation of the titanium technologies,” said Titanium Centre of Competence director, Willie du Preez. The centre of competence is hosted by the CSIR and features collaboration with the national science department, various South African universities, science councils and commercial entities. ‘Significant cost, efficiency advantages’ A titanium pilot plant was launched in Pretoria last week in a partnership between CSIR and the Science and Technology Department and will assist in the up-scaling of the technology and the agreement with Boeing. “It is a breakthrough in the production of titanium metal powder using a novel continuous process, instead of the more conventional batch process,” Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom said at the launch of the plant. “This proprietary technology offers significant cost and efficiency advantages and is expected to give South Africa a comparative advantage in the production of titanium metal and finished products.” The success of the pilot plant will drive the commercialisation of the country’s titanium beneficiation strategy and is expected to stimulate development in various sectors.last_img read more

A Cache In Trash Out (CITO) Event Branches Out

first_imgCITO Event cache, “Come plant a tree”Vila Real, Portugal – Geocachers in Portugal recently gathered for a Cache In Trash Out (CITO) Event cache.  The geocachers helped the environment, but they didn’t take out bags of trash.  Instead they left something behind.   The group of geocachers planted hundreds of trees in an area of Portugal ravaged by recent wildfires.Tree destroyed by recent wildfiresJorge Cardoso, Osodrac Team, organized the CITO called, “Vem plantar uma Árvore” (GC25KYV). The event translates from Portuguese into English simply as, “Come plant a tree.”  More than a dozen geocachers grabbed shovels and got to work on October 16th.Geocacher planting a tree at CITO event GC25KYVCardoso says local authorities were quick to provide the willing geocachers with help. He says, “We talked with the people of the Municipality of Vila Real, who gave us the trees and talked with the President of the Parish of Vila Cova who gave us a plot of land.”Hugo Silva, SUp3rFM, is the Volunteer Reviewer who published the CITO event.  He says, “I thought of it as a very nice idea. A cool concept. The owner was really into it. He gathered a lot of local support for the authorities, got some equipment, seeds, hardware, etc. His goal was to plant trees on an area that was caught by wild fires in the past. Geocachers would certainly go along. I always say they’re very nice people.””Bosque do Geocacher”The geocachers didn’t just plant trees.  They placed a geocache.  It’s a geocache Cardoso describes as unique for Portugal.  It’s a standard sized cache located near a plaque to geocachers.The plaque was placed after the CITO event.  The plaque and the new cache have the same title.  They’re both called “Bosque do Geocacher” (GC2FPJW).   It translates to “Geocacher’s Grove.”Silva says, “I think that we, as a group, have something to say to the non-geocaching community. Our common interest takes us to remote locations to enjoy wildlife and nature, clean out the trash that some forgot along the way, with only a few rewards as a prize: A smile and a great feeling of good will.”According to Cardoso he’s considering another CITO event next year.  He says, “Finally, I tell you it was an action that left us – Team Osodrac – I, my wife and my son very proud of all of the geocachers’ achievements. We think our great community can organize themselves and work towards a cause that leaves a mark for a more promising future. We believe we have fulfilled our purpose of helping our world, on a small scale, it is true, but what matters is the intention of improving it.”Geocachers after CITO event GC25KYVShare with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedTen wonderful Cache In Trash Out® 2018 moments from around the worldOctober 1, 2018In “Cache In Trash Out”Dirty Your Hands with a Geocaching Good DeedJuly 21, 2014In “7 Souvenirs of August”Lessons in Environmental Geocaching “Gecko 2012″May 29, 2012In “Cache In Trash Out”last_img read more

More Information on the Passive House Conference in San Francisco

first_imgPassive House Institute US has posted its list of programs for the 9th Annual North American Passive House Conference in San Francisco in September.The conference, which runs from Sept. 10 through Sept. 14, opens with a keynote address by researcher and author William Rose on Sept. 12 before breaking into a number of separate discussions on narrowly focused topics.“The PHIUS Technical Committee received more top-notch proposals to present at the 9th Annual North American Passive House Conference than ever,” PHIUS Executive Director Katrin Klingenberg said in a news release. “We had to add four 2-hour sessions to make room for all great work the passive house community has been doing over the past year.”In all, there are two dozen sessions on topics that include residential and commercial case studies, marketing and business, indoor air quality, the Living Building Challenge, and insulation, among many others.Separately, PHIUS has scheduled a series of technical pre-conference workshops on Sept. 10. and 11. There’s also a tour of Passivhaus projects in the area on Sept. 14.Early registration for the conference at the Waterfront Marriott has been extended until July 17. Prices are posted at the registration website.last_img read more