By Agence France-Presse (AFP) July 27, 2020 Colombian President Iván Duque announced on June 23 that authorities captured the leader of a dissident group of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, in Spanish), who withdrew from the peace process and is involved in the killing of indigenous people in the country’s southwest.The president congratulated the Military Forces and the police via Twitter for arresting Fernando Israel Méndez, alias el Indio, the leader of the so-called Dagoberto Ramos column, which operates and profits from narcotrafficking in the Cauca department.“We continue to deal blows to organized crime that engages in narcotrafficking and the assassination of social leaders,” the president added.In addition to Méndez, authorities arrested four other men from his organization in Caloto municipality, the military leadership said in a statement.The Army press office told AFP that the guerilla leader is accused of being the “actual perpetrator” of the killing of five Nasa natives in an attack in Cauca, in October 2019.The massacre took place in the midst of an operation by the so-called dissidents to free three rebels that the indigenous guard had captured.One of the victims was the leader Cristina Bautista, whose assassination was condemned by the international community.Cauca, with an indigenous population of 24.8 percent, is the center of turf wars between gangs connected to Mexican cartels, the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas, and groups that walked away from the accord that disbanded the FARC in 2016.The groups are fighting for rent profits derived from the 17,355 hectares of drug crops that the United Nations registered last year in the department, as well as for a route to ship the drug to the United States via the Pacific Ocean.Violence in the region has affected social leaders in particular, as well as human rights advocates of indigenous communities.According to the nongovernmental organization Somos Defensores (We are Defenders), 77.7 percent of the 32 indigenous leaders who were murdered last year in the country — the highest number in a decade — were from Cauca.
“It’s doing well, I mean it’s kind of hard to beat sales when you’re sitting in crowds of 20, 30, 40,000 people, but we’re doing the best with what we can do right now.” However, with the event postponed this year, he says, “The event really matched up with one of our top players that we do throughout New York State, so it was definitely a big bummer to lose this one, I mean at least in August.” Skiadas says the vendor business is a significant part of his income, and the postponement of Spiedie Fest only falls in line with other summer events. TOWN OF DICKINSON (WBNG) — With the postponement of Spiedie Fest falling in line with other nixed summer events, one local vendor is adjusting his business to adapt to the decline in opportunity. “Right now, everything that we know of is canceled through September,” he said. Catching on to the trend, however, Skiadas has changed the focus of his business, now selling product at everything from baby showers to drive-in movie theaters. He’s hopeful, though, that Spiedie Fest will pull through come the fall. Still, he explains the business doesn’t quite compare. Binghamton native Adam Skiadas has run B&B Kettle Korn for roughly 10 years and looks forward to selling his product at Spiedie Fest each summer. read more
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Topics : “If each of us can reduce contact with other people by at least 70%, and ideally by 80%, we should be able to see a peak in the number of infections in two weeks,” he said.His cabinet will also finalize the stimulus package worth 108 trillion yen ($990 billion) – equal to 20% of Japan’s economic output – to cushion the impact of the epidemic on the world’s third-largest economy.That exceeds the equivalent of 11% of U.S. output for the stimulus package laid out by President Donald Trump and 5% of output for Germany’s package.Abe said direct fiscal spending would amount to 39 trillion yen, or 7% of the economy, more than double the amount Japan spent following the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers. Japan has been spared the big outbreaks of the coronavirus seen in other global hot spots, but a recent, steady rise in infections in Tokyo, Osaka and other areas led to growing calls for Abe to announce a state of emergency.Coronavirus infections in Tokyo more than doubled to about 1,200 in the past week, with more than 80 new ones reported on Tuesday, accounting for the highest number in the country. Nationwide, cases have climbed past 4,000 with 93 deaths as of Monday.Abe has stressed that the state of emergency will stop short of imposing a formal lockdown as seen in other countries.The emergency gives governors the authority to call on people to stay at home and businesses to close. With no penalties for ignoring the requests in most cases, enforcement will rely more on peer pressure and respect for authority.Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said the city was in talks with the central government to decide what types of facilities it would ask to close or curtail business hours, while reiterating there would be no restrictions on buying groceries and medicine.Sufficient food The government would not ask rail companies to reduce the number of trains in operation, Abe said.Other essential infrastructure like mail and utilities would operate, as will ATMs and banks, public broadcaster NHK said.Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Taku Eto called on shoppers to stay calm.”We are asking citizens to buy only what they need when they need it as there is sufficient food supply and no suspension is planned at food factories,” he told reporters earlier, adding there was no sign of disruption to Japan’s grain imports.But the restrictions will add to pains the virus is inflicting on the world’s third-largest economy, which is seen as already in recession as supply chain disruptions and travel bans chill factory output and consumption.Metropolitan Tokyo alone accounts for about 20% of Japan’s overall gross domestic product.Japan will sell a record amount of additional bonds worth more than 18 trillion yen to fund the package, adding to its huge debt which is twice the size of its economy.While the stimulus could ease the immediate damage from the pandemic, lawmakers are already calling for even bigger spending to prevent bankruptcies and job losses.Analysts expect the economy, which shrank in the final quarter of last year, to post two more quarters of contraction, piling pressure on the government and the central bank to do more.”The government will probably compile another supplementary budget soon to stimulate the economy with even more spending,” said Takahide Kiuchi, a former Bank of Japan board member who is now an economist at Nomura Research Institute. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday declared a state of emergency to fight new coronavirus infections in major population centers and unveiled a stimulus package he described as among the world’s biggest to soften the economic blow.The state of emergency, giving authorities more power to press people to stay at home and businesses to close, will last through May 6 and be imposed in the capital, Tokyo, and six other prefectures – accounting for about 44% of Japan’s population.”The most important thing now is for each citizen to change our actions,” Abe said in televised comments made at a meeting of a government task force. read more
Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Minister Tjahjo Kumolo has sparked public outrage after sharing links of Indonesian movies, which were illegally uploaded to YouTube by irresponsible parties, on social media. Among the movies are Cut Nyak Dien, Sang Kiai (The Cleric) and Kartini, which tell stories about the country’s heroes and heroines.Tjahjo, who shared the links through his Twitter account, @tjahjo_kumolo, on Sunday, has apologized and deleted the tweet after receiving protests, particularly from the country’s renowned filmmaker Joko Anwar. “Dear film director Joko Anwar, I got the links from WhatsApp [messages] and was moved to share them on Twitter as we’re in the middle of celebrating Indonesia’s Independence Day. For that I apologize,” the minister tweeted on Monday.Yth Bp JokoAnwar Sutradara Film Perjuangan – sy mendpt kiriman WA koleksi film Perj. tsb – mengingat Hari Kemerdekaan RI – saya berbagi saja kpd Group via Twitts – mohon maaf kalau sy salah dan khilaf – kalau sy hrs membayar krn sy berbagi sy siap semampu saya, dmk Trims— TJAHJO KUMOLO (@tjahjo_kumolo) August 17, 2020Previously, Joko on his account, @jokoanwar, tweeted his disappointment over the minister’s slip on sharing the links. The film director said many of the movies were uploaded to YouTube without the consent of the copyright owners.”There’s no point in celebrating the country’s 75th anniversary if we still violate the rights of others, for whatever reason,” he said, adding that it was impossible to educate the public about “intellectual property rights” to fight rampant piracy if the government had no awareness about it.Joko’s tweet has received more than 2,000 likes so far and has been retweeted by at least 1,200 users.Banyak tautan yg dibagikan di sini diunggah secara ilegal tanpa ijin pemilik hak cipta filmnya.Gak ada gunanya kita merayakan 75 tahun merdeka kalau mengambil hak orang lain, apapun alasannya.Gak mungkin juga mengedukasi rakyat ttg HAKI kalau pemerintahnya aja gak paham. pic.twitter.com/P5hL1VZcrW— Joko Anwar (@jokoanwar) August 17, 2020A twitter user, @visitingkaiju, said he was waiting for the government’s next move to better protect intellectual property rights as many people were still violating them. “Stop [piracy]! Every piece of work is supposed to give benefits to its creator in accordance with the value it provides to consumers,” he said.Topics : read more
Governor Wolf Announces Funding for Redevelopment of Crane Iron Works Site in Lehigh County August 13, 2018 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Economy, Infrastructure, Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced new funding for the redevelopment of the former Crane Iron Works site located in Catasauqua, Lehigh County. The more than 12-acre property will be developed into a mix of commercial, residential, and public uses.“This is the type of project that can transform a community by turning an abandoned site into new opportunity,” said Governor Wolf. “The commonwealth’s support will help the borough redevelop the site to help attract businesses and residents, creating new jobs and boosting the local economy.”The Borough of Catasauqua was approved for a $1.5 million grant to prepare the former Crane Iron Works site for mixed-use development through the demolition of old, obsolete industrial buildings and the installation of critical infrastructure including roadways, street lighting, and water/sewer, stormwater, electric, and gas systems. This is the second phase of the Crane Iron Works redevelopment project that began with the borough’s purchase of the site in 2013. This phase will enable the development of residential and commercial uses.“I’m proud to have worked with the Catasauqua community and the governor to secure the funding needed for the project at the former Crane Iron Works site,” said Senator Lisa Boscola. “Redeveloping brownfield land like this honors the rich history of the Lehigh Valley, but also transforms it for a bright future. I’m looking forward to watching this mixed-use project develop.”Prior to the purchase of the property by the Borough of Catasauqua in 2013, the site had sat mostly vacant for over a decade, adding little value to the borough and discouraging private investment in the surrounding downtown. The borough acquired the site with the goal of restoring the property, bringing jobs and private investment to the community, boosting the local/regional tax base, and improving public services. The initial phase of the development was completed in 2017 and included the construction of a new $10 million building to house the borough offices, fire department, and police station at the site.Supported through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) program, funding will support critical expansion projects, some of which will provide opportunities for additional economic development. read more
PETER HITCHENS: The elites hellbent on legalising marijuana couldn’t care less about the families they obliterateDaily Mail 14 October 2018Family First Comment: A superb commentary… “The Big Dope lobby tell us that, in some magical way, legal cannabis will be safer. It will not. Legal alcohol and legal tobacco are not safe. Their users still get cirrhosis, cancer, heart disease and emphysema. And, once marijuana is legal, available in shops and on the internet, and advertised (as Big Dope desires) many more people will take it, so greatly increasing the number of possible victims. It is so obvious it hardly needs saying.” #PeopleBeforeProfitswww.VoteNo.nz…this country faces a grim race, between a fanatical and sometimes greedy campaign to decriminalise marijuana at all costs, and the accumulating evidence that such a move would be an irreparable disaster. In much the same way, Big Tobacco knew for years that cigarettes were doing terrible damage to smokers, but carried on making millions from them and resisted attempts to restrict advertising and sales.The marijuana lobby, who I call Big Dope, are equally ready to overlook the horror of irreversible mental illness, for what some of them see as a good cause, and others see as a pot of gold. At a debate on the subject at Durham University on Monday, in which I opposed decriminalisation, supporters of drug legalisation openly conceded that marijuana does damage the mental health of some of its users. But it seems they don’t really care. They have dismissed as ‘anecdotal’ hundreds of individual stories in which the link between the drug and mental illness has been startling. Psychiatrists have little doubt.This is not a private, victimless crime. Mental illness is a tragedy and a lifelong disaster for the families of those affected. Thousands of careers are blighted by the damage that marijuana does to the intelligence of the young people who use it. Many teachers know only too well the sad and weary signs that a star pupil has started smoking dope, and begun to slide to the bottom of the class, where he will stay.….The Big Dope lobby tell us that, in some magical way, legal cannabis will be safer. It will not. Legal alcohol and legal tobacco are not safe. Their users still get cirrhosis, cancer, heart disease and emphysema. And, once marijuana is legal, available in shops and on the internet, and advertised (as Big Dope desires) many more people will take it, so greatly increasing the number of possible victims. It is so obvious it hardly needs saying.Then we are told that ‘regulation’ will limit the strength of the marijuana on sale. Really? First of all, legal alcohol has steadily grown stronger in the past few decades. Both wine and beer are now startlingly stronger than they used to be. As drinkers seek out the stronger brands, many drug abusers actively like and seek the strong strains of cannabis.READ MORE: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-6273587/PETER-HITCHINS-elites-hellbent-legalising-marijuana.html read more
The Prime Minister has asked the Chief Science Advisor to provide an accessible summary of the evidence to inform the cannabis referendum, using an ‘expert’ panel. The ‘expert’ panel has been charged with pulling together as much information as we can about the impacts of cannabis, and to present it in a way that is easy to understand for voters.Here’s the problem.Of the 10 members of the ‘expert’ panel, SEVEN have declared that they support legalisation of cannabis – and not even one of the panel has expressed opposition.If you think we’ll get a balanced report, we have a bridge to sell you.For Legalisation Associate Professor Joseph Boden, University of OtagoSupports legalisation.Dr Hinemoa Elder, University of AucklandSupports legalisationProfessor Benedikt Fischer, University of AucklandSupports legalisation Has advocated for legalisation in Canada (RNZ)Professor Tracey McIntosh, University of AucklandSupports legalisationAssociate Professor Khylee Quince, University of AucklandSupports legalisation – ”if there is no space in any reform to allow people to grow their own, discrimination against Māori will continue.” 3’s The Hui (March 2019) The SpinOffBoard member Drug Foundation (!)Professor Doug Sellman, University of OtagoSupports legalisationAssociate Professor Chris Wilkins, Massey UniversitySupports legalisation OtherDr Tamasailau Suaalii-Sauni, University of AucklandResearcher / Criminologist – including Pasifika and youth justice issueProfessor Michelle Glass, University of OtagoDr David Newcombe, University of Auckland read more
The loss of regular skipper Steven Davis to a hamstring injury represents a huge loss in the Northern Irish engine room, but when it came to nominating his on-field lieutenant, O’Neill was left with a simple call. Davis’s predecessor Aaron Hughes would have been a dependable pick for the job but West Brom defender McAuley will wear the armband in Bucharest. McAuley, a man who boasts genuine presence on the pitch and inspires as much devotion in the stands as he does in the dressing room, cut an unusually bashful figure when appearing before the press. Having been asked to raise his voice, then offered a second microphone, the centre-half said: “I don’t think I will need to bawl and shout because sometimes that can be a negative influence on the team. “If you’re asking what kind of captain I’ll be, then what I will try to do is lead by example, just as I try to in every game I play. “Obviously it’s a huge honour to captain Northern Ireland and Michael had a number of players to choose form. “But it’s not about who leads the team out on to the pitch, it’s about playing as a team and making sure we get a positive result in this game.” Romania manager Anghel Iordanescu is taking charge of his national side for the third time in a storied career, which has also seen him serve as a senator for Social Democratic Party and reach the military rank of Major General. He has attempted to paint Northern Ireland as firm favourites for the match, but O’Neill had his own sardonic response. “I believe Mr Iordanescu was previously a politician,” he said. “He’s spoken like a true politician in terms of how he has spoken of us. “I know he has also been very successful in the past, perhaps more successful as a coach than he has been as a politician. “He is a legend in Romanian football, and I don’t think the change will affect their performance in any way.” Press Association It is just a month since the 34-year-old turned down the chance to lead the side against Greece, on the occasion of his 50th cap, but that decision simply helped make up O’Neill’s mind. McAuley did not want to change anything after victories over Hungary and the Faroe Islands and insisted Davis continue in Athens, where Northern Ireland made it three wins from three to top Group F. “I think Gareth made a very unselfish act in turning down the captaincy on his 50th cap in Greece,” said O’Neill. “Normally a player who reaches that milestone would captain the side but Gareth didn’t want to upset the momentum we had so he passed over that opportunity. “There were one or two players capable of being captain but I just felt it was fitting (to choose McAuley). “He has natural leadership qualities and the respect of every member of the squad. It’s fitting for Gareth to get the chance to captain the team in a game of this stature.” McAuley has led the side before, in a sleepy goalless draw against Slovenia and twice as part of the shadow squad Nigel Worthington took to the Carling Nations Cup in 2011. But with his country sitting on their best ever start to a qualifying campaign and in with a real chance of a maiden appearance at the European Championship, this represents a much loftier occasion. Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill did not hesitate to name “natural leader” Gareth McAuley as his stand-in captain for Friday’s Euro 2016 clash in Romania. read more