Operation MARTILLO: Sophisticated Airborne Platform Joins Drug-Smuggling Interdiction Effort

first_imgThe amount suggests that Mexican transnational criminal organizations are producing and trafficking greater amounts of the drug. The CBP reported a 300 percent increase in methamphetamine seizures at California ports of entry from fiscal year 2009 to 2014. The United States recently assigned a sophisticated surveillance aircraft to support Operation MARTILLO, a move which signals the country’s strong commitment to cooperating with its partner nations in the fight against drug trafficking in the Central American isthmus. “These officers operate often in dangerous circumstances to confront the insidious impact of organized crime groups in Latin America, exploiting Central America’s corridor and sea routes to conduct their illicit activities,” Glyn Lewis, Interpol’s director for specialized crime and analysis, told reporters. The systems aboard the U.S.-based plane are able to monitor a high volume of maritime activity over a large area while differentiating between legal and illegal operations. The intelligence gathered by this platform will allow the U.S. and its partners to make significant strides in the detection and seizure of illegal drug shipments along the coastal waters of the Central American isthmus. Record methamphetamine seizures at U.S.-Mexico border They also arrested 422 suspects, seized a semi-submersible vessel and two light aircraft used by narco-traffickers, destroyed 20 clandestine landing strips, dismantled 50 drug laboratories, and confiscated about 100 weapons, 7.6 tons of chemical precursors used to make synthetic drugs and $2.2 million in cash. Methamphetamine can be easily transported, as it can be liquefied, hidden in small compartments or taped to the body. It also offers narco-traffickers a high profit margin, because since cartels are producing methamphetamine themselves, their overhead costs are lower. Colombian Army’s Sixth Division made strides against narco-trafficking in 2014 A record 6,682 kilograms of methamphetamine were seized at the U.S.-Mexico border during the fiscal year 2014 that ended September 30, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Interpol’s Operation Lionfish II seizes 27.5 tons of drugs Interpol agents seized 27.5 tons of narcotics worth $1.3 billion during Operation Lionfish II, a two-week initiative in December that included raids in 39 countries and territories in Central America and the Caribbean. By Dialogo January 07, 2015 Colombian Army’s Sixth Division made strides against narco-trafficking in 2014 They also arrested 422 suspects, seized a semi-submersible vessel and two light aircraft used by narco-traffickers, destroyed 20 clandestine landing strips, dismantled 50 drug laboratories, and confiscated about 100 weapons, 7.6 tons of chemical precursors used to make synthetic drugs and $2.2 million in cash. The Sixth Division, along with the Navy, Air Force and counter-narcotics police, also provided safety to farmers who had been forced by the FARC – the country’s largest terrorist group and one of its largest narco-trafficking organizations – to grow coca, the main ingredient used to produce cocaine, according to the Army. “The Mexican cartels are flooding the U.S. marketplace with their cheap methamphetamine,” said Gary Hill, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) assistant special agent in charge in San Diego. Interpol’s Operation Lionfish II seizes 27.5 tons of drugs “These officers operate often in dangerous circumstances to confront the insidious impact of organized crime groups in Latin America, exploiting Central America’s corridor and sea routes to conduct their illicit activities,” Glyn Lewis, Interpol’s director for specialized crime and analysis, told reporters. The United States recently assigned a sophisticated surveillance aircraft to support Operation MARTILLO, a move which signals the country’s strong commitment to cooperating with its partner nations in the fight against drug trafficking in the Central American isthmus. The amount suggests that Mexican transnational criminal organizations are producing and trafficking greater amounts of the drug. The CBP reported a 300 percent increase in methamphetamine seizures at California ports of entry from fiscal year 2009 to 2014. The goal of the operation, which was conducted from December 1 to 15, was to take down the region’s most notorious organized crime and narco-trafficking groups. Interpol authorities did not disclose the names of the suspects. “The Mexican cartels are flooding the U.S. marketplace with their cheap methamphetamine,” said Gary Hill, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) assistant special agent in charge in San Diego. Interpol agents seized 27.5 tons of narcotics worth $1.3 billion during Operation Lionfish II, a two-week initiative in December that included raids in 39 countries and territories in Central America and the Caribbean. The systems aboard the U.S.-based plane are able to monitor a high volume of maritime activity over a large area while differentiating between legal and illegal operations. The intelligence gathered by this platform will allow the U.S. and its partners to make significant strides in the detection and seizure of illegal drug shipments along the coastal waters of the Central American isthmus. The division also reported it arrested 55 drug-trafficking suspects in 2014. Record methamphetamine seizures at U.S.-Mexico border The Colombian National Army’s Sixth Division confiscated more than two tons of narcotics, destroyed 612 hectares of illegal coca plants and took down 65 drug-producing laboratories in 2014, dealing a major blow against the narco-trafficking enterprises of the terrorist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia’s (FARC) Southern Bloc. Operation MARTILLO is joint effort to target drug trafficking along the Caribbean coastlines of Guatemala and Honduras, as well as drug trafficking routes in Pacific Ocean waters. The initiative, which was launched Jan. 15, 2012, includes all seven Central American nations and U.S. Southern Command (U.S. SOUTHCOM). Colombia, Mexico, Canada, as well as The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and France are also active participants in the effort. The division also reported it arrested 55 drug-trafficking suspects in 2014. Methamphetamine can be easily transported, as it can be liquefied, hidden in small compartments or taped to the body. It also offers narco-traffickers a high profit margin, because since cartels are producing methamphetamine themselves, their overhead costs are lower. A record 6,682 kilograms of methamphetamine were seized at the U.S.-Mexico border during the fiscal year 2014 that ended September 30, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The Sixth Division, along with the Navy, Air Force and counter-narcotics police, also provided safety to farmers who had been forced by the FARC – the country’s largest terrorist group and one of its largest narco-trafficking organizations – to grow coca, the main ingredient used to produce cocaine, according to the Army. The Colombian National Army’s Sixth Division confiscated more than two tons of narcotics, destroyed 612 hectares of illegal coca plants and took down 65 drug-producing laboratories in 2014, dealing a major blow against the narco-trafficking enterprises of the terrorist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia’s (FARC) Southern Bloc. The goal of the operation, which was conducted from December 1 to 15, was to take down the region’s most notorious organized crime and narco-trafficking groups. Interpol authorities did not disclose the names of the suspects. Operation MARTILLO is joint effort to target drug trafficking along the Caribbean coastlines of Guatemala and Honduras, as well as drug trafficking routes in Pacific Ocean waters. The initiative, which was launched Jan. 15, 2012, includes all seven Central American nations and U.S. Southern Command (U.S. SOUTHCOM). Colombia, Mexico, Canada, as well as The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and France are also active participants in the effort. last_img read more

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Innovation of the Year

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UK: Digital Growth Could Shape the Port of the Future

first_imgA number of developments in the digital and augmentation/automation areas could transform competitiveness and customer propositions at UK ports, according to a survey released by the UK Major Ports Group (UKMPG).UKMPG’s members, the UK’s biggest port owners and operators, believe that these developments could shape the port of the future.These build on continued evolution of the physical assets of ports, their hinterlands and their connectivity with main economic and urban areas. And these changes must occur within an environment of sustainability and responsibility, UKMPG added.The survey informed the response of the UKMPG to the Government’s Maritime 2050 Call for Evidence which closed this week.Taken together, and with the right enabling pre-trade and pro-investment policy frameworks from Government, these developments would build further the powerhouse ports needed for Brexit Britain, boosting the UK’s ability to trade with the world.“At the heart of our input to Government is a determination that ports will play as crucial a role in the 4th industrial revolution as they have in its predecessors, enabling the UK to trade with the world. We look forward to working with Government and others to develop the right policy and regulatory frameworks for the long term to make this potential a reality, boosting even further the considerable value that major ports contribute to the UK,” Tim Morris, Chief Executive of the UK Major Ports Group, said.last_img read more

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AquaTrojans Sink Golden Bears

first_imgIndividual winners include:Jackson Ketcham – 200 Free, 100 FreeEmily Hafertepen – 200 IMNick Weber – 200 IM, 100 BackJohn Crawley – 1-meter divingMackenzie Schantz – 100 Fly, 500 FreeKyra Hall – 100 FreeMatthew Badinghaus – 500 FreeTara Hall – 100 BackRay Krider 100 Breast East Central AquaTrojans took down the Shelbyville Golden Bears on Tuesday night in St. Leon.  EC Girls won 108-78, EC boys won 113-70. Courtesy of AquaTrojans Coach Brandon Loveless.center_img EC won all 6 relays.  EC travels to Connersville on Friday and Saturday for the Connersville Invitational.  Go AquaTrojans!!!last_img read more

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Ellsworth, Sumner, DI-S earn top-4 finishes at state cheer championships

first_imgELLSWORTH — Local cheer teams competed at the state championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center with Ellsworth, Sumner and Deer Isle-Stonington placing in the top four in their respective classes.Ellsworth followed its Class B North championship last month in Bangor with a second-place finish at states. Hermon, which won the Class B title for the eighth time in nine seasons, scored 86 points to top the Eagles’ 82.6. Mount Desert Island finished above Freeport and John Bapst to place 10th with 52.9 points.In the Class C competition, Sumner posted a score of 68.6 points to come away with fourth place behind state champion Lisbon, second-place Sacopee Valley and third-place Central. Bucksport placed eighth to finish ahead of Calais, Madison/Carrabec, Wiscasset and Dirigo.In Class D, Deer Isle-Stonington earned 52.5 points to finish fourth behind Central Aroostook, Penobscot Valley and Machias. Central Aroostook’s state championship was the program’s sixth straight and 11th in the past 12 seasons.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textlast_img read more

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GCA extends condolences on the passing of Harold `Doc’ Dhanraj

first_imgTHE president, executive and members of the Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA) would like to extend sincere condolences to the family of the late former Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) cricketer Harold `Doc’ Dhanraj.`Doc’ as he was familiarly called, donned his whites for the Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) for many years and became their Intermediate cricket captain for a number of years.After his playing days were over, he took up the mantle of being an executive member of the GCA.`Doc’ Dhanraj became an institution in Georgetown’s cricket fraternity. Many cricketers can attest to how thankful they are for the impact he had on them; not only as a cricketer but more importantly as a mentor. He always had time to pull aside to discuss life, especially discipline, be it at the Bourda sward or his famous Bacchus Drug Store in Stabroek Market.Cricket in Georgetown will surely be the loser with the passing of Harold `Doc’ Dhanraj. Someone so special can never be forgotten.last_img
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IfeanyiUbah Partners Yobo Centenary Game

first_imgWith barely one month to the befitting testimonial match planed to mark the retirement of former Super Eagles Captain, Joseph Yobo, from football slated for May 27 in Port Harcourt, one of Nigeria’s top businessmen, Dr Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah, has thrown his weight behind the project.The Capital Oil chairman at the weekend endorsed the Yobo Centennial Game and promised to use two of his companies, FC IfeanyiUbah and the Authority Newspaper to be brand ambassadors of the testimonial match.Coordinator of the Yobo Centennial Game who is also a former Super Eagles player, Waidi Akanni, confirmed Ubah’s magnanimity and his involvement in the plan to give the Ogoni-born former Nigerian captain a befitting send-forth from the Beautiful Game. “Dr Ifeanyi Ubah has endorsed the Yobo Centennial Game. He has promised to use two of his companies, FC IfeanyiUbah and the Authority Newspaper to be brand ambassadors for the testimonial match,” revealed Akanni yesterday.While expressing his happiness over the coming of the top businessman to the testimonial project, the former chairman of Lagos State Football Association stressed that Dr Ubah has shown to football loving Nigerians that he is truly a man of the people.“His long association with the senior national team is legendary. How he supported past testimonials for the likes of Austin Jay Jay Okocha, Taribo West and Nwankwo Kanu remain very fresh in our minds. Dr Ubah remains a father figure for us ex internationals,” observed Akanni who used the occasion to call on other well to do Nigerians to support worthy causes meant to celebrate past footballers who have contributed their quota to make Nigerian sports great.Some of the corporate bodies who have indicated their support for the Joseph Yobo Centenary Game include, Sifax Group, NICON Insurance and Beko Electronics Ltd.Meanwhile, some top players from Europe including William Gallas, Louis Saha, Tim Howard and Steven Pienaar have been booked on the flight to Port Harcourt for the Joseph Yobo Centenary Game.Yobo’s former Everton teammate Wayne Rooney and African greats Samuel Eto’o, Yaya Toure, plus a host of other international football personalities have all shown interests in honouring the former Eagles defender who amassed 100 international caps, scoring seven goals in a career that spanned 13 years.The testimonial game which is being put together by the Joseph Yobo Foundation in partnership with the Rivers State Government will be an occasion to celebrate a worthy son of the state who had a distinguished career.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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Badgers go back to basics

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoPut in an unfamiliar position after last weekend’s loss, the Badgers are going back to the basics. Although the season is now nearly seven weeks old, Wisconsin (5-1, 2-1 Big Ten) is focusing on fundamentals, namely tackling, as it prepares for Saturday’s game at Penn State (4-2, 1-2 Big Ten). “We’ve doubled our efforts,” UW defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz said. “The last three weeks we’ve been doing extra tackling drills, and we’ve done more of them this week, and we’re going to keep doing them until we get better.”If we have to double it again next week to see more improvement, we will.”Wisconsin has practiced well all week, pleasing the coaching staff, but if what is worked on in practice doesn’t carry over into Saturday, the positive workouts won’t mean a thing.”They’ve responded and done everything we’ve asked them to do; we’ve been tackling better in practice — we’ve got to carry it over to Penn State now,” Hankwitz said.Strong practices haven’t carried over to games in weeks past. “I think that’s the problem of players without a lot of experience; they give up a big play once, and it can happen again — big plays are contagious,” UW head coach Bret Bielema said. Big plays have killed Wisconsin in recent weeks. Two weeks ago against Michigan State, the defense allowed three plays go for 53 yards or more. Last week, Illinois had nine plays go for 20-plus yards. The defense has been addressing its inability to tackle, but the tentative play is a major concern as well. “Guys giving up big plays get kind of scared, myself included, and become more tentative trying not to give up the big play instead of doing your responsibility,” linebacker DeAndre Levy said. “Once you do your responsibility, and everybody’s doing the same thing, it’s a good place to be in.”Penn State’s Beaver Stadium, which seats in excess of 100,000 frenzied fans, will prove to be a hostile environment.”Outside of Camp Randall, that’s probably the best place I’ve been,” Levy said. Aside from wide receivers Luke Swan and Paul Hubbard — it will be interesting to see how freshmen David Gilreath and Kyle Jefferson respond in the starting receiver roles — the Badgers will bring a relatively healthy roster to Happy Valley. Running back P.J. Hill is full-go after sustaining a slight groin pull last week that hindered him for parts of the game at Illinois and limited him to a season-low 21 carries. So expect Wisconsin to go back to its traditional offense — pounding the football between the tackles.Certainly improved from a year ago, Penn State will also rely on its ground attack and Rodney Kinlaw. The senior rushed for a career-high 168 yards along with two touchdowns in helping the Nittany Lions out-rush the Hawkeyes 256 to 46. “I think they’re running the ball better this year so (quarterback Anthony) Morelli hasn’t had to shoulder as much of the load at times compared to a year ago, so they’re there offensively,” Hankwitz said.Morelli, who has been more consistent this year than in years past, still makes mistakes — he is in a three-way tie for second in interceptions in the Big Ten with six. For a team that has struggled in the turnover game, Saturday suggests balls may bounce the Badgers’ way. “From what they’ve done, if any game, it has to be this one,” Levy said about the possibility of forcing turnovers, something Wisconsin has done a mere four times this season. “We’ve got to keep that mentality throughout the season no matter who we’re playing. (Penn State) has put some balls on the ground; the quarterback threw away some balls, and we just have to capitalize on the opportunities when they’re there.”Part of the reason why the defense has been starved of turnovers goes back to its inability to take down the ball carrier. “The effort, guys just not making tackles — that’s where you get a lot of those opportunities, the second guy coming in and stripping the ball out — so I think if everybody’s executing, the opportunities will come,” Levy said. Despite all the attention on the defense’s struggles this season, the team still only has one loss. Of course the loss wasn’t easy, after winning for so long. But the mood and atmosphere hasn’t changed. The team remains upbeat and is moving on.”[Having a positive] attitude is one thing I always thought we’ve done well; we respond well,” Levy said.”We’re still a very, very good team, and we have to continue to do the things that we have done to get to where we are because if you abandon those things, you abandon the [ideals] of the program,” safety Aubrey Pleasant added. “Keeping that 1-0 mentality. We lost last week; it’s done. The only thing we can change is our future.”last_img read more

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Carroll trades spikes for mics

first_imgWith a school as competitive in sports as the University of Wisconsin, the word “student” in student-athlete is often overlooked. Fans sometimes forget that the athletes they cheer for and celebrate on game day attend classes during the week, take tests and have to worry about finding jobs after graduation just like any other student.The reality of the matter is that most collegiate athletes will not make the pros after receiving their diplomas. In fact, it is estimated that just 5 percent of student athletes become professionals in their sport.For Maya Carroll, that reality became clear this summer. The former walk-on volleyball player chose not to rejoin the team this year for her senior season, instead taking an internship with the Big Ten Network.Working as an intern, Carroll has been able to help with the production crew behind the scenes, prepare the on-screen talent before filming and write feature stories and blog entries on the network’s website.As much as she enjoyed her time with the Badgers, Carroll said the position with the Big Ten Network was too good to pass up.”I loved my three years on the volleyball team,” said Carroll, a journalism major. “I would not have traded them for anything in the world. … [But] when a great opportunity comes up and arises, an internship opens up, you have to jump on it.”Junior Audra Jeffers, one of Carroll’s close friends on the team, was the first of the teammates to find out the news. Jeffers said she was working as a referee at the Stadium Sports Bar’s beach volleyball league when Carroll stopped by to tell her about the internship.”I think my first reaction was so much excitement, because I knew it was a career goal of Maya’s, and I knew it’s just right up her alley,” Jeffers said. “She’d be great at it.”But once Carroll left, the thought of losing a teammate and close friend sunk in for Jeffers, causing her to postpone the game she was refereeing.”All of a sudden, the tears just came,” Jeffers said. “I call a timeout, I run off the ref stand and I chased Maya down the street. I gave her a big hug and I’m just crying because Maya and I, when she was on the team, we would always hang out when we didn’t play freshman year on the bench.”Senior setter Jackie Simpson, who started her career at Wisconsin the same year as Carroll, had bittersweet emotions as well when she heard of the decision. Like Jeffers, though, Simpson knew the chance to work with the Big Ten Network was perfect for Carroll.”Obviously we were all really sad because Maya’s a great friend and teammate,” Simpson said. “But it was such an amazing opportunity for her that we were all really excited, too. So it was kind of a big mix of emotions.”The choice did not come easy for Carroll, who said she agonized over whether to return to the team for her senior season or work with the up-and-coming Big Ten Network.”It was a very tough decision to leave the volleyball team so that I could take on this internship,” Carroll said. “I dreaded telling (head coach) Pete (Waite) because it’s really not an easy team or opportunity to walk away from.””She developed great relationships and had some great friends on the team, and went through a lot with them over the years,” Waite said. “It was difficult for her to do, but I think she’s happy that she’s made the move.”The opportunity to play for Wisconsin in the first place was a unique one for Carroll, who didn’t start playing volleyball until her junior year of high school. As a freshman, she was cut from the volleyball team and instead decided to play tennis for two years, until trying out again after hitting a growth spurt.Carroll was also a standout athlete in track as a high jumper. As the state high jump champion as a sophomore, she was recruited by several schools for track. But after visiting other colleges and meeting the coaches, Carroll had her heart set on being a Badger, even if that meant walking on with the team.”What I truly wanted to do was be part of a close-knit team and I really wanted to go to school in Madison,” Carroll said. “It was a dream come true for me to be a walk-on on the team.”When she finally told her coaches and teammates that she would no longer be on the team for her senior season, Carroll received nothing but support from them.The decision made sense in Waite’s mind, as he knew Carroll would be furthering her career by working with the network.”I was really trying to be supportive of her decision, because opportunities like this don’t come along very often,” Waite said. “It seemed to fit perfectly in her plans. I know she’s learning a lot this year and getting some great experience.”For Simpson, one of the team’s five seniors, the reality of life after volleyball has finally begun to sink in after seeing Carroll begin the first steps of her career.”It’s definitely starting to kick in,” Simpson said. “People have been talking about jobs and things like that, and ‘I’ve got 17 credits left, what am I going to do?'”Unlike sports such as basketball or football, volleyball provides little in the way of professional opportunities in the United States. Although it is an Olympic sport, volleyball only exists on the pro level in the beach form.”You can play overseas, so there are small opportunities, but it’s not the same,” Simpson said. “It’s definitely that aspect of being a student first [that] is really important in this sport.”Taking the next stepAlthough she is no longer a member of the team, Carroll has been able to provide her former teammates a boost during their 22-3 season. With the Big Ten Network, she has been in attendance for several of the team’s home games this year, giving a lift for her friends.”I think the biggest thing is just seeing Maya there,” Jeffers said. “She brings so much energy and so much life to the Field House. … It’s just great to have her presence there and to just feel her energy.”Carroll has helped broadcasters at some of the volleyball games, as well as women’s soccer games, by providing an insider’s prospective on the side.”I’ve gotten to sit with the broadcasters during the volleyball games and tell them about the players and interesting tidbits that viewers might want to know,” Carroll said.She also was able to interview and write a story about Reggie Torian, a former track star who has begun training again after graduating 14 years ago.”That was really exciting to sit down and talk to him,” Carroll said. “He’s a bit of a celebrity in the track world.”Perhaps one of Carroll’s favorite things about the Big Ten Network has been its coverage of women’s athletics. As a former female athlete, Carroll said she knows women’s athletics coverage is often lacking — something she hopes to change.”I definitely have empathy for women in sports, because sometimes they’re overlooked and trivialized by the media,” Carroll said. “I just really want to give women athletes a voice, and I guess that’s something I feel pretty strongly about.”I feel ready to do something about it.”last_img read more

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Dr. Kwame Baah-Nuakoh heads GFA Club Licensing Board

first_imgThe Executive Council of the GFA, exercising its powers under Article 52 of the GFA Statutes, has appointed a seven-member Club Licensing Board of the GFA.The Board will be chaired by economist and former sports journalist, Dr. Kwame Baah-Nuakoh, who is also the General Manager, Sustainability at Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).Other members of the Club Licensing Board are: George Ankomah Mensah (Vice Chairman), Professor Joseph Kwame Mintah, Mike Bonsu, Mavis Amanor, Rev. Emmanuel Addotey and Joseph Addo.The GFA’s Club Licensing Manager, Emmanuel Newton Dasoberi will act as Secretary to the Board.The Club Licensing Board has the responsibility of vetting the license application of clubs to ensure compliance with legal, administrative, finance, technical, medical and security requirements of the provisions of the GFA Statutes and the GFA Club Licensing Regulations before issuing licences to clubs. Source: Ghana FAlast_img read more

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