Paraguayan Navy Plays Key Role in Fight against Drug Trafficking

first_imgEven as it takes on a larger role in the fight against drug trafficking, the Navy continues to provide medical and social assistance to civilians, protect water resources, and cooperate with civil defense efforts in the event of a natural disaster. Naval forces are also carrying out a critical infrastructure security mission for two of the country’s large hydroelectric plants – one in Itaipú, a binational dam located between Paraguay and Brazil, and one in Yacyreta-Apipé on the border with Argentina. Helping the civilian population with humanitarian assistance That unit is formed in part by graduates of theNavy’s Amphibious Command, along with members of the Army and the Air Force’s Air Transport Brigade – all trained in special drug enforcement operations. Supporting SENAD’s tactical actions, they are known for their loyalty, honor and professionalism; they also help provide operational training for SENAD personnel and other Paraguayan government institutions. “The Navy believes it is very important to work both independently and to complete SENAD security tasks,” said Lieutenant Commander Miguel Salum, communications director for the Paraguayan Navy. “These actions allow us to fulfill the mission to protect our river borders in the confrontation with drug trafficking…The full force of the Navy stands ready to act in support of SENAD’s needs.” To that end, 15 seamen are on permanent duty to assist SENAD’s operations. All are from the Navy’s riverine force, which monitors more than 1,400 kilometers of banks along the Paraguay River and approximately 700 kilometers along the Paraná River, with Naval bases in Asunción, Ciudad del Este, Bahía Negra, Encarnación, and Salto de Guaira. Drug traffickers and organized crime groups use these rivers – especially the Paraguay River – to transport narcotics. International cooperation is an important component of the Navy’s battle against drug trafficking, as it has forged a close relationship for training with its Argentine and Brazilian counterparts. The Navies of those countries provide training in command, combat in marshlands, general staff command, paratroopers, weaponry, and canine instruction. “The Navy is performing its duties against drug-trafficking groups. It does its work well, and it is increasingly relevant.” center_img By Dialogo September 15, 2015 Paraguay’s Navy is playing an increasingly important role in the fight against international drug trafficking, cooperating with the National Anti-Drug Secretariat (SENAD, for its Spanish acronym) through its Join Special Forces Battalion. Working with SENAD Meanwhile, the Paraguayan Armed Forces and law enforcement agencies are also working hard to thwart drug traffickers on land. From January 1 to April 20, security forces seized more than half a ton of cocaine and arrested 124 suspected drug traffickers, SENAD reported. And in 2014, the Joint Special Forces, in coordination with SENAD, conducted more than 100 missions against drug-trafficking organizations and narco-terrorism, leading to seizures of more than a ton of cocaine. At the same time, the Navy also trains with Special Operations units from the U.S., such as the Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces, Special Tactical Teams from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and operational teams from Brazil’s Federal Police. In fact, currently, Paraguay’s military forces are “in the process of completing an agreement with the United States in order to put current resources and investments to the best possible use,” Lt. Cmdr. Salum said. “In the past, we have received solid support from the U.S. Special Forces.”last_img read more

Little-known Trump appointee is kneecapping Biden’s transition team

first_imgThat declaration often comes within hours of the race being called by media outlets and almost always happens within the first 24 hours. On the one hand, the letter has usually been a technicality, but on the other, it’s a critical piece of the process since the transition team has not a moment to lose in standing up an entirely new government within the course of a couple months. The stakes are magnified this year by the raging pandemic and an economy that could falter as a result. But in accordance with Trump’s refusal to concede the election, the GSA has given no signal that it plans to sign the letter anytime soon. “An ascertainment has not yet been made,” Pamela Pennington, a spokeswoman for GSA, told the Post, “and its Administrator will continue to abide by, and fulfill, all requirements under the law.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement – – Advertisement – The last time a transition was delayed in 2000 as a recount ensued to determine whether George W. Bush or Al Gore would be the next president. But Murphy’s delay in acknowledging the reality of Biden’s obvious win is unprecedented in modern times. The Post writes:Chris Lu, who served as former president Barack Obama’s transition director in 2008, recalled that after Obama was declared the winner over the late senator John McCain on Nov. 4, he went to sleep to get up early the next morning to open the transition office. He missed the call from GSA’s acting administrator, Jim Williams, informing him that he had signed over transition resources to the Obama team.But the GSA is clearly deferring to Trump, who simply can’t handle the fact that he lost the election and is still desperately searching for a way to disenfranchise more than 75 million voters.In the meantime the Biden transition team is urging the GSA to come to terms with reality, even if Trump isn’t capable of doing so.- Advertisement – “America’s national security and economic interests depend on the federal government signaling clearly and swiftly that the United States government will respect the will of the American people and engage in a smooth and peaceful transfer of power,” wrote a Biden transition spokesperson in an email.GSA administrator Murphy may also soon have to answer to Congress, unless she decides to heed the advice of House Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney. xNow is the time for administration officials to do the right thing for the country. This decision by @GSAEmily isn’t symbolic. It is slowing down the incoming admin’s ability to deal with this pandemic and economic crisis. https://t.co/vkgMKRxrAI— Carolyn B. Maloney (@RepMaloney) November 9, 2020last_img read more

NIH funds research on how pathogens trigger immune response

first_img Institutions involved in the Large-Scale Antibody and T Cell Epitope Discovery Program are the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif.; Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle; La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology in San Diego; University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City; Duke University in Durham, N.C.; Imperial College in London; Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Vanderbilt University in Nashville; Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies in San Diego; Oregon Health and Science University in Portland; University of Copenhagen in Denmark; and the Centre for Biological Sequence Analysis at the Technical University of Denmark. The NIH statement explained that epitopes are recognized by the body’s B and T cells, which are white blood cells that detect pathogens. Each can bind only to a particular foreign molecular structure, or antigen. The specificity is determined by the receptors on the surface of each cell, the NIH said. Fourteen contracts have been approved for the Large-Scale Antibody and T Cell Epitope Discovery Program, according to the NIH, which includes the NIAID. Epitopes are the regions of infectious agents that elicit immune responses. Studying them may uncover new targets for vaccines, therapies, and diagnostic tools against potential bioterror agents, the NIAID announcement said. Such research also could reveal targets among emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases such as influenza and West Nile virus. Nov 2, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has awarded contracts worth more than $73 million to study the mechanisms by which certain infectious agents, including potential bioterror agents, trigger immune reactions, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced yesterday. The information on newly identified epitopes will be freely available to scientists on a searchable database that is being developed, the NIH said. NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, MD, said, “The information generated by this program will deepen our understanding of how components of the immune system defend against certain infectious agents, enabling researchers to design new and improved medical countermeasures.” The B- and T-cell specificity, as well as the diverse functions of these cells, determines the effectiveness of immune responses, the NIH said. B cells make antibodies, which bind to target antigens at their epitopes, eliminating the pathogen before infection can spread or marking it to be destroyed by other cells. T cells promote powerful antibody responses, destroy infected target cells, or control inflammation. Nearly all the contracts involve evaluating newly discovered epitopes in preclinical or clinical studies, where possible, for their capacity to prompt immune responses. This research about a wide variety of microbes will greatly expand the small-scale work that has been done for years, said Daniel Rotrosen, MD, director of NIAID’s Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation. See also: Nov 1 NIH announcementhttp://www.nih.gov/news/pr/nov2004/niaid-01.htmlast_img read more

Australia widens shutdown as virus cases surge past 2,000

first_imgAuthorities have expressed concern about citizens refusing to self-isolate for 14 days after returning from overseas. The majority of cases in the nation are linked to international travel, in particular Europe and the Americas. The government had previously issued a strong warning against overseas travel, which has now been tightened to a ban.Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said he was very worried about the “very, very steep growth” in the rate of infections and urged people to change their behavior.Australia joins countries worldwide imposing ever tougher measures to contain the outbreak that has infected 382,000 people and killed 16,500. Beauty, tanning and nail salons and other personal services will close, as will theme parks and recreation centers. Morrison was forced to clarify his comments during the press conference, saying that shopping malls will remain open, and only the food courts inside would be impacted by the new measures.“Following common sense rules and doing the right thing — that’s how we slow the spread of this virus and that’s how we save lives,” Morrison said. “It also means that when we all do that, that we can potentially limit further economic harm from other measures.”Parliament rushed through more than A$80 billion ($47.4 billion) in fiscal stimulus for the coronavirus-stricken economy at a special sitting in Canberra on Monday, aimed at saving businesses and jobs as the nation lurches toward its first recession since 1991.As non-essential services close, waves of newly unemployed workers rushed for financial aid and formed massive queues outside welfare-support offices, placing enormous pressure on government services. Australia’s jobless rate is set to soar in the next three months to 11.1%, just shy of a recession-era peak, according to Westpac Banking Corp.’s Chief Economist Bill Evans.Topics : Australia is enforcing more stringent controls to slow the spread of the coronavirus, banning non-essential travel overseas, closing food courts in shopping malls and restricting weddings and funerals after the number of cases surged past 2,000.Addressing reporters after a meeting of the National Cabinet late Tuesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia was experiencing “heart-breaking events” and that the virus could only be defeated through following social distancing guidelines. Weddings must be limited to the couple, celebrant and two witnesses, while funerals could only be attended by about 10 people.Earlier this week, the government closed pubs, casinos, cafes and restaurants and has already banned indoor gatherings of 100 people or more. Yet still the number of cases keeps growing, reaching 2,136 as of 3 p.m. Tuesday, up 427 from a day earlier. Schools remain open, yet parents have been urged to keep their children home and follow online learnings courses.last_img read more

Arsenal looking at Espanyol star Marc Roca as Thomas Partey alternative

first_imgAdvertisement Comment Metro Sport ReporterThursday 30 Jul 2020 11:31 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link2kShares Arsenal looking at Espanyol midfielder Marc Roca as alternative to Thomas Partey Roca has impressed this season again despite Espanyol’s relegation (Picture: Getty Images)‘First of all the players we already have here, if there is anything extra to help them more and give them a better environment, and then, if we go into the market and we have to do things, to decide which ones to do and how quickly we can do them.‘We are completely ready for that, and I also have a really good understanding with [technical director] Edu. We have been working together very closely to put together a plan that we are convinced can be successful.’MORE: Atletico Madrid reject Arsenal’s £22.8m bid plus Matteo Guendouzi for Thomas ParteyMORE: Mesut Ozil’s agent speaks out on Arsenal future and reveals likely leaving dateFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page.center_img The Spaniard has enjoyed a fine season and Arsenal aren’t the only club interested (Picture: Getty)Arsenal are looking at Espanyol midfielder Marc Roca as they consider alternatives to Atletico Madrid star Thomas Partey, according to reports in Spain.The Gunners are eager to reinforce their midfield during the summer transfer window, though Atleti are playing hardball over a deal for Partey with an opening offer of £23million plus Matteo Guendouzi rejected.Arsenal have a tight budget this summer due to the financial implications of the coronavirus crisis and that has seen them begin looking at cheaper alternatives to Partey. Advertisement Partey is Arsenal’s top midfield target but he will cost £45m in cash (Picture: Getty)The Gunners have already been linked with Porto’s Danilo Pereira and now Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo claims Arsenal are also interested in Espanyol defensive midfielder Roca.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTWhile the 23-year-old enjoyed a strong campaign individually, his team finished bottom of La Liga and have been relegated to the second division of Spanish football.Roca is virtually certain to be sold as a result, with Espanyol holding out for €20million (£18m) – less than half what Atletico are demanding for Partey – though the Spaniard could well be available for even less than that.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalBut Roca’s fine displays mean there is plenty of competition for his signature, with Atletico themselves interested along with Sevilla, Villarreal and AC Milan.Arteta has made no secret of his desire to bring in several new faces this summer, telling Sky Sports earlier this month: ‘I am encouraged that we are on the same page, and that we are going to try to do our best to evolve the team.last_img read more

Wolf Administration Proposes Regulations to Support Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Coverage

first_imgWolf Administration Proposes Regulations to Support Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Coverage Human Services,  Press Release,  Public Health,  Substance Use Disorder Governor Tom Wolf announced today that the Pennsylvania Insurance Department is introducing new regulations to protect consumers’ mental health and substance use disorder rights in the commonwealth. The regulations build on the department’s efforts to enforce equal standards of coverage between physical and mental health and substance use services.“Accessing mental health services and treatment has been an ongoing concern reported through multiple task forces of my administration, including the School Safety Task Force, the Ready to Start Task Force, and the Suicide Prevention Task Force,” Gov. Wolf said. “When patients experience higher costs or fewer visits for mental health services than for other kinds of health care, there may be a parity violation causing these barriers to treatment. We are going to change that.”The new regulations will require health insurers that want to offer coverage in Pennsylvania to verify the company has completed documented analyses of its efforts to provide mental health and substance use coverage that is comparable to physical services in treatment limits, cost sharing, and in- and out-of-network coverage. In addition to the verified analysis, insurers must make that documentation available to the department, upon request, to demonstrate compliance with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA). Documentation must also be available to policyholders and providers upon request.“The Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act guarantee that health plans and insurers offer mental health and substance use disorder benefits that are comparable to their coverage for general medical and surgical care,” said Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman. “However, the objective of parity can only be fully realized if health plans are implementing it correctly, consumers and providers understand it, and there is proper oversight.”The recently submitted regulations are one element of Gov. Wolf’s multi-agency effort and anti-stigma campaign, Reach Out PA: Your Mental Health Matters. The campaign is dedicated to expanding resources and the state’s comprehensive support of mental health and related health care priorities in Pennsylvania. The governor announced several initiatives and reviews the administration will undertake for commonwealth agencies to bolster the effort.“A critical part of accessing mental health services is ensuring that state and federal parity laws are being followed by all insurance providers operating within the commonwealth,” Gov. Wolf said. “The recently submitted regulations give Pennsylvania insurers a clear understanding of what the Insurance Department will look for regarding parity. This type of transparency will allow those struggling with mental health or substance use disorders continued access to the care they need.”Consumers with questions or concerns about their insurance plan’s compliance with parity laws can contact the Insurance Department’s Consumer Hotline at 1-877-881-6388.As part of Reach Out PA, the governor introduced an online form for Pennsylvanians to provide feedback on mental health barriers, services and ways the commonwealth can better support mental health needs. February 03, 2020center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Moody’s makes buy-side fintech, climate risk acquisitions

first_imgMoody’s Corporation has acquired RiskFirst, a UK fintech company providing risk analysis solutions for asset managers, asset owners and consultants.A day earlier it announced having taken a majority stake in Four Twenty Seven, a California-based company providing data and analysis related to physical climate risks – risks linked to the impact of climate change itself as opposed to efforts to contain it.The acquisitions are for two different parts of Moody’s as a company. The RiskFirst acquisition is for Moody’s Analytics while the deal with Four Twenty Seven is for Moody’s Investors Service, the credit rating and research arm. RiskFirst’s oldest product is the PFaroe platform, which helps manage asset and liability risk in defined benefit (DB) plans, mainly in the US and UK. According to Moody’s it is used by over 3,000 plans with more than $1.4trn (€1.3trn) in assets. “Adding RiskFirst’s platform to Moody’s Analytics’ product offering creates significant opportunities for growth and demonstrates our commitment to extend our reach and capabilities to the buy-side and asset owner community,” said Mark Almeida, president of Moody’s Analytics, in a press release. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. RiskFirst generated £16.5m (€18.4m) of revenue in 2018. Four Twenty Seven, meanwhile, will be an affiliate of Moody’s Investors Service, continuing to operate under its existing brand. Moody’s said the transaction would strengthen its research on incorporating climate risk into economic modelling and credit ratings, and complemented its recent acquisition of a majority stake in Vigeo Eiris.Emilie Mazzacurati, founder and CEO of Four Twenty Seven, said: “Moody’s global coverage and analytical capabilities, combined with Four Twenty Seven’s comprehensive climate risk data and intelligence, provides an ideal path to continue our work helping market participants integrate potential climate impacts into risk management and investment decisions.”DWS, one of the first asset managers to go public about its work and stance on physical climate risk, worked with Four Twenty Seven to develop its approach.The narrative about investment and climate change has been dominated by the concept of transition risks rather than physical risks, but the latter have begun to grab more attention.According to Schroders, another asset manager that has warned about overlooking physical climate risks, the world is on course for a long-term temperature rise of 3.8°C above pre-industrial levels – far from the target set under the Paris Agreement.National commitments to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions – recently adopted by the UK and France, for example – stood in contrast to sharp growth in energy produced by fossil fuels, it said.last_img read more

AUDIO: Hillary Kieft on Newstalk ZB re parental notification

first_imgHillary Kieft talks to Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking about her petition to change the parental notification laws (28 Aug 2015)Audio Player00:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.last_img

ICC World Cup Vijay Shankar finally opens up about Ambati Rayudu’s Twitter dig at him

first_imghighlights Vijay Shankar gets injured ahead of warm up clash against New Zealand.India will play South Africa in first league game. Rishabh Pant and Ambati Rayudu are named as the back ups.  New Delhi: India’s middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu, who was in the set up since West Indies series last year was clearly hurt when he was not picked for the World Cup 2019. The selectors opted for Vijay Shankar instead and mentioned that they’d try the all-rounder at number four position. Right until the end of last year, Rayudu was a frontrunner for this position.Skipper Virat Kohli even mentioned that they’d pick the 33-year-old in the World Cup squad. Therefore, to focus better on limited-overs cricket, he even announced his retirement from red ball cricket. However, things did not pan out as per the plans for the Hyderabad batsman. He lost his touch at the beginning of this year and had tough times in the ODI series he played in 2019.Rayudu struggled both in Australia and New Zealand as well as in the home series in India. Except for a 90 that he scored in New Zealand, there wasn’t any notable performance from him. Thus, the selectors were forced to axe him from the squad and named him a backup player instead. This clearly hurt the feeling of Rayudu and he tweeted that he ordered 3D glasses taking a dig at the selectors as MSK Prasad had termed Vijay Shankar a 3D cricketer.Here’s the Tweet:This tweet from Ambati Rayudu has created quite a stir on social media. Fans were left in splits and it all caused a huge uproar. Many felt that the right-handed batsman targetted the cricketer from Tamil Nadu. However, in a YouTube show named ‘Breakfast with Champions’ hosted by Gaurav Kapoor, Shankar defended Rayudu and said the tweet wasn’t intended at him.”I know for the fact that how a cricketer would feel if they are not being picked. I can understand from a player’s point of view. And I know for the fact that he didn’t mean it to me. It was just that he put that tweet for the sake of it. I can understand the situation in which he was. It is fine for any cricketer,” said Vijay Shankar answering the question about how he felt about this tweet.center_img For all the Latest Sports News News, ICC World Cup News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

The Latest: London mayor says too early to resume soccer

first_imgThe German league also says it will stop publishing centralized statistics for its coronavirus testing program and will leave that up to the clubs.___The Danish soccer league will resume on May 28 with games in empty stadiums.The league has been suspended since March 9 because of the coronavirus outbreak.The first game will be between AGF and Randers to complete the 24th round. The 25th round will start on May 29. The meet had been scheduled for July 4-5 at the Olympic Stadium.British Athletics says “the decision has been made in light of the ongoing global pandemic.”___World Cup winner Giuseppe Bergomi says he had COVID-19.The former Italy defender says that for 20-25 days beginning in early March his back was in so much pain that he couldn’t sit down. Bangladesh, Ireland, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the United States, the West Indies and Zimbabwe were to play in the tournament in Sri Lanka from July 3-19 and three were to qualify.The International Cricket Council has not set new dates.The Women’s World Cup is in New Zealand in February and March.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinReddit The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___London Mayor Sadiq Khan says he believes it is too early for the Premier League to be planning a resumption of the season amid the coronavirus pandemic. Premier League clubs Arsenal, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Tottenham and West Ham all play in the capital.The mayor’s office says the league should resume only “when it is safe to do so.”British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Monday that sports events in the country could resume in June if there is not a new spike in COVID-19 infections.Liverpool led the league by 25 points with nine games remaining when the league was suspended in March.___ Associated Press ___German soccer clubs will decide whether to adopt a rule change to increase the number of substitutions when they meet by video conference on Thursday.The International Football Association Board agreed last week to let teams use two extra substitutes per match in 2020. That should help leagues clear a backlog of games created by the coronavirus pandemic.Leagues can choose whether or not to adopt the rule change.The German league is scheduled to restart on Saturday.center_img The Latest: London mayor says too early to resume soccer All games in the 26th and final round will be held on June 7. The playoffs will follow with the season scheduled to end on July 29.The league says games will take place at various times during the daytime and evening “so that as many matches as possible are made available to football fans” while stadiums are closed.FC Midtjylland leads FC Copenhagen by 12 points at the top of the standings.___The Diamond League event in London is the latest track meet to be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. FIFA has rescheduled two women’s events for next year and will hold its 2020 annual meeting online.FIFA says the Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica and Panama will start on Jan. 20 and the Under-17 Women’s World Cup will be in India from Feb. 17.Both 2020 tournaments were postponed in April because of the coronavirus pandemic.FIFA says both tournaments will retain their eligibility rules. The same players can be selected even if they have a birthday early in 2021.The FIFA Congress was due to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Sept. 18 but will now be an online event. May 12, 2020 He adds in an Instagram chat that he felt constantly weak.The 56-year-old Bergomi says he has recovered.Bergomi played for Inter Milan and is now an analyst for soccer matches on Italy’s Sky TV. He helped Italy to the 1982 World Cup title.___The qualifying tournament for the 2021 Women’s Cricket World Cup has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.last_img read more