Southcom Gen. John Kelly, other officials discuss drug challenge

first_img House subcommitee hearing targets drug smuggling Without a doubt, the cooperation with the U.S. government is the only solution for our country in order to achieve significant blows to the international drug trafficking; although our government has invested more in equipment and staff in the past years, we still fall short before the economical and logistic power of the Mexican and Colombian drug cartels. I hope our new governors understand the importance of cooperating with the U.S. government, and also make the necessary decisions responsibly, so that our Coast Guard or National Coast Guard Service of Costa Rica can have the necessary equipment, prompt maintenance for it and the required training. During 2012 I was able to witness, with great sadness, how the two best vessels they owned were stranded due to lack of maintenance, and have been in such condition for several months. I hope this all changes for the sake of our country and our democracy and we don’t turn into an easy operation base for drug trafficking, as it’s unfortunately already been happening. CARSI remains high on priority list “Under CARSI, the United States is implementing a comprehensive and integrated approach to stem illegal trafficking,” Arreaga said. “Make no mistake; it will take many more years to see the fruits of our efforts in Central America due to the magnitude of threats to rule of law and credible government institutions. But we’re making progress. Model police precincts have brought increased security to some communities and excellent new vetted units are seizing drugs and illicit assets and making critical arrests.” In Honduras, for example, a regional aviation program financed by CARSI aims to curb drug trafficking routes. In early February, Costa Rica’s DEA-mentored Maritime Interdiction Vetted Unit launched its first successful interdiction operation, seizing more than 900 kilograms of cocaine and apprehending three suspects, Arreaga said. “The Vetted Unit combines Coast Guard interdiction capacities with investigative police personnel to effectively prosecute traffickers operating off of Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast,” he said. “And in the Caribbean, we are partnering with the U.S. Coast Guard to support three efforts that promote maritime security: an annual maritime exercise to validate the interoperability of U.S.-funded and donated boats; regular Counter Drug Maritime Summits to bring together maritime security and law enforcement and justice sector officials, and a Technical Assistance Field Team that includes U.S. Coast Guard and military personnel.” Coast Guard leader outlines interdiction efforts Since 1995, the Coast Guard has interdicted more than 500 vessels transporting cocaine shipments from South America and has arrested or detained nearly 2,000 smugglers, Papp said. In the last five years, he said, Coast Guard cutters and law enforcement detachments have confiscated more than 500 metric tons of cocaine with a wholesale value of nearly $17 billion. “Coast Guard efforts include removing illegal drugs as close to their origins in South America as possible, where drug shipments are in their most concentrated, bulk form,” he said. “Moreover, these illicit cargoes are most vulnerable when they are being moved at sea. This is where the interdiction community has the highest visibility of, and best opportunity to interdict drug movements. When bulk loads reach shore — typically in Central America — they are continually broken down, cut and smuggled on land in smaller loads.” Arreaga focused on Central America and the Caribbean, which he said is the conduit for most of the drugs arriving on U.S. shores. In 2011, cocaine from the Caribbean totaled 5 percent of the drugs smuggled to the United States, a figure that increased to 9 percent by 2012. By the end of 2013, he said, cocaine flowing within the Western Hemisphere transit zone increased to 16 percent of the total cocaine flowing in the Caribbean. That is why the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) and the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) are so important, he said. By Dialogo May 30, 2014 The leaders attended the hearing, “Confronting Transnational Drug Smuggling: An Assessment of Regional Partnerships,” hosted by the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. In 2013, Southcom redirected its focus to Central American security institutions involved in appropriate defense missions such as border and maritime security, Kelly said. “We are prioritizing our support to interagency counter-threat finance efforts and expanding our focus on converging threats, including illicit trafficking via commercial shipping containers, which could be exploited to move weapons of mass destruction into the United States. By supporting the targeting of key illicit financial nodes and commercial linkages, we aim to help degrade the capacities of both criminal and terrorist groups.” Kelly discussed Southcom’s efforts in Colombia and Peru to combat terrorism and the drug trade. “The Colombians have fought heroically for a peaceful, democratic Colombia, which will be a powerful symbol of hope and prosperity, but it is far too soon to declare victory,” he said. “It is absolutely imperative that we remain engaged as one of our strongest allies works to consolidate its hard-won success. To that end, Southcom is providing advice and assistance to the Colombian military’s transformation efforts, as it works to improve interoperability and transition to an appropriate role in post-conflict Colombia,” Kelly said. Southcom and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are working together in Peru to fight the Shining Path — an effort Kelly says is beginning to yield significant operational success. “An investment of six U.S. personnel, who trained combat medical instructors from Peru and El Salvador, resulted in the training of over 2,000 members of the Peruvian and Salvadoran military, including Salvadoran soldiers destined for stability operations in Afghanistan, Lebanon and Haiti,” he said. “We are also working with Chile on capacity-building efforts in Central America, and exploring possible future engagements in the Pacific.” The unprecedented expansion of criminal networks and violent gangs throughout Latin America and the Caribbean makes the mission of the U.S. Southern Command more urgent than ever, Southcom Commander Gen. John F. Kelly told a congressional hearing. The entry of illicit drugs into the United States constitutes Southcom’s single biggest challenge, Kelly said — despite the success of programs such as Operation Martillo, which in fiscal 2013 confiscated 132.2 metric tons of cocaine, 41,232 pounds of marijuana and $3.5 million. “Now entering its third year, Operation Martillo continues to demonstrate commitment by the United States, our partner nations and European allies to counter the spread of transnational criminal organizations and protect citizens in Central America from the violence, harm and exploitation wrought by criminal networks,” Kelly said in prepared testimony. The Marine Corps general appeared at the April 29 hearing with U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr. and Ambassador Luís Arreaga, deputy assistant U.S. secretary of state for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs. last_img read more

Inside the LA-inspired mansion of Manpower founder Billy Cross

first_imgAn aerial view of 297-299 Monaco St, Broadbeach Waters (far right).FOR a fun-loving social couple with two young boys, home for Billy and Jackie Cross has been as much a space for family as for entertaining. Having purchased their Broadbeach Waters plot with a knockdown house in 2009, the couple worked with Bayden Goddard Design Architects to bring their vision to life. MORE: Tallebudgera new build is Qld’s most popular house Wide glass windows allow for a connection with the outdoors.An annual Australia Day gathering has been a longstanding event on the Cross social calendar, but with their sons now grown up, life is moving into a new phase.“We’ve bought the penthouse in White at Main Beach, so we’ll be starting a new chapter close to the restaurants and cafes there,” Mr Cross said.“I’m excited and emotional. I love the aspect of walking to the shops to grab coffee and bagels from the bakery in the mornings, and late night Thai or Italian. “But at the same time we’ve spent 12 years in this house so we will miss it.” Michael Kollosche is taking expressions of interest until October 7. There are multiple areas for relaxation and low-key socialising.Full height stacker doors allow the indoor living areas to flow easily onto alfresco entertainment spaces, where the aspect takes in a pool, a tennis court and main river. “We’re on nearly 2600 sqm of land with a park across the road and the main river at the back,” said Mr Cross.“Laying out there watching the boats and jet skis go by on main river is a really relaxing place to be and a great space for entertaining.” How to buy in a hot market + fastest selling suburbs A tennis court, pool, gymnasium and river frontage create opportunities for recreation.An outdoor kitchen is equipped with teppanyaki facilities and three wine fridges, in addition to the temperature controlled 2000-bottle cellar inside. Entertaining is second nature for the vivacious entrepreneur, who shot to fame in the 1980s as the founding member of hit male stage show Manpower. The man cave has been a favourite feature for Mr Cross.But the hands-down favourite feature goes to the man cave, which Mr Cross describes as “one of the best on the Gold Coast”.It’s kitted out with a bar, wine fridges, classic pub pool table and seven televisions for the ultimate sporting feast.“You can watch the races, footy and AFL at the same time,” Mr Cross said.“It has been a great space to have the boys over for punting sessions on a Saturday or late night parties.” The house is well designed for entertaining, relaxation and play.Their sprawling LA-inspired mansion, at 297-299 Monaco Street, has a relaxed elegance about it, with multiple areas for rest, exercise and play. “It’s a big house with a lovely open plan, but the spaces still feel intimate,” said Mr Cross, who credits wife Jackie for the styling.“Having two young boys, it’s been an amazing place for them to grow up in.” The outdoor areas offer views of the river and city skyline.Mr Cross went on to run a string of nightclubs in Surfers Paradise and Las Vegas, where his Thunder from Down Under show has been a roaring success.Waking up to a gym, steam room and massage room have made home workouts a breeze, while sons Nick, now 17 and Josh, 21 made the most of the tennis-come-basketball court over the years. More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa6 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day ago Iconic trophy mansion sold via FaceTime The LA-inspired design gives off a relaxed sense of elegance.last_img read more

9 days agoEintracht Frankfurt chairman Steubing enjoys swipe at AC Milan signing Rebic

first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Eintracht Frankfurt chairman Steubing enjoys swipe at AC Milan signing Rebicby Carlos Volcano9 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveEintracht Frankfurt chairman Wolfgang Steubing has enjoyed a swipe at Ante Rebic.Rebic left Eintracht Frankfurt for AC Milan over the summer.“Honestly, I don’t know what to say,” Steubing told Bild.“He wanted to leave, because otherwise he would be the only one of the three strikers to stay at Frankfurt.“Now, he sits outside. He took a gamble and lost. And it won’t get any easier for him.” last_img read more

Salmon habitat to recover from Trans Mountain pipeline work within 2 years

first_imgCHILLIWACK, B.C. – Fisheries and Oceans Canada says work on a Trans Mountain pipeline crossing in a British Columbia stream altered habitat for young salmon, but the creek will return to normal in one to two years.Two biologists with the department visited Stewart Creek in Chilliwack after receiving a complaint from Mike Pearson, a biologist with 30 years of experience.Pearson says the placement of 17 metres of concrete at the bottom of the stream has reduced hiding places for coho and chum salmon and inhibited growth of the invertebrates they eat. The Fisheries Department says the stream bed has been altered from soft sediment to hard substrate, but the natural accumulation of sediment will help re-establish pre-existing conditions.December 20, 2018. Immediately downstream of the TMPL ROW during a post-construction site inspection showing high water levels have reached the delineated high water mark. Sustained conditions such as these will lead to further accumulation of native substrate by natural recruitment – Trans MountainIt also says there are unlikely to have been impacts to salmon from the temporary alteration because similar rearing habitat exists upstream and downstream of the site.Trans Mountain says it agrees with the assessment by the Fisheries Department and it relies on highly qualified professionals to design and implement crossings.last_img read more

CVC to retire in June write 300word essay to apply for top

first_imgNew Delhi: The Centre has started the process of filling up the top post of Central Vigilance Commissioner in the anti-corruption watchdog CVC as incumbent K V Chowdary will demit office in June after completing his four-year tenure.Besides Chowdary, Vigilance Commissioner T M Bhasin will also complete his tenure in the same month, officials said Monday. Former chief of National Investigation Agency (NIA) Sharad Kumar is the other Vigilance Commissioner. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsThe Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) consists of a Central Vigilance Commissioner and two Vigilance Commissioners. It is proposed to appoint a Central Vigilance Commissioner and a Vigilance Commissioner in the CVC, according to an order issued by Personnel Ministry seeking applications for the posts. Those interested will have to write a 300-word write-up to indicate their suitability for the post and send an application to the Personnel Ministry. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayThey shall hold office for a term of four years from the date on which he/she enters upon his/her office or till he/she attains the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier, it said. “All the applicants should be of outstanding merit and impeccable integrity and should have a knowledge and at least 25 years of experience in the relevant field,” the ministry said. A Central Vigilance Commissioner or Vigilance Commissioner is appointed from persons who have been or are in an all India services (IAS, IPS and IFoS) or in any civil service of the Union or in a civil post having knowledge and experience in the matters relating to vigilance, policy-making and administration including police administration among others, the ministry said. Besides, a person who has held office or is holding office in a corporation established by or under any central Act or a government company owned or controlled by the central government and persons who have expertise and experience in finance including insurance and banking, law, vigilance and investigations are also eligible for the appointments. The last date for sending an application to the ministry is May 1.last_img read more

Andre is more of a forward player than me – Idrissa

first_imgSenegalese Idrissa Gana Gueye says his side’s football games are not about him but about assisting the team secure victory that they actually really need.He adds that Andre is more of a forward player than him and plans to play a little bit further back this season.Everton will face Liverpool on Sunday looking to win Jurgen Klopp’s side after their scoreless away match with Chelsea.Speaking to the club’s official website, Gana said:“It’s not about me, it’s about the team,”divock origi, liverpoolReport: Origi cause Klopp injury concerns George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Divock Origi injury in today’s game against Newcastle is a cause for concern for Jurgen Klopp.Perhaps with one eye on Tuesday’s trip to Italy…“I just try to help the team, to do my job on the pitch… I like playing football, tackling, giving the ball.”“For me, if I go into a tackle and don’t win the ball, then it is a bad tackle. Every time I go into a challenge, I am trying to win the ball back for one of my teammates and to help my team. Sometimes I don’t realise how many tackles I have made in a game.”“I have to play a little bit further back this season because Andre is more of a forward player than me. Sometimes I have to control the game and allow him to decide when to go forward and when to stay. But it is a good balance playing with Andre.”“He is a very good player. We try to help each other and that is one of the reasons why it is working so well.”“But these things start on the training ground. Players who are currently on the bench help us a lot because they are not giving up and train hard every week. They make it tough for us to be picked and they are why we are good at the weekend.”last_img read more