Bankruptcy court addresses Detroit water shutoffs

first_imgAt march in solidarity with Palestine, July 13.>br />WW photo: Kris HamelJuly 16 — A dog and pony show put on by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Detroit municipal bankruptcy proceedings took an unexpected turn on July 15 when Moratorium NOW! Coalition activist Kris Hamel, who is also a WW managing editor, told the judge he needed to put a moratorium on mass water shutoffs and ameliorate the suffering of the poorest Detroiters.The hearing was for objectors to the city’s emergency manager’s “plan of adjustment,” which outlines deep cuts in health and pension obligations to city retirees and the “clawback” of workers’ annuity funds in order to pay the city’s alleged debt to the banks. Out of more than 600 objections that were filed by rank-and-file workers, residents and retirees, 100 objectors were chosen to appear at the hearing and given five minutes each to address Judge Steven Rhodes. Because the austerity plan is essentially a done deal according to the EM and corporate media, many objectors did not bother to show up. But several dozen testified as more than 100 spectators watched from another room.Poignant and heart-wrenching testimony was given by retirees, especially regarding the now high cost of their health care. A cancer patient told of skipping her appointments because of high doctor visit co-pays, while another said his health care costs have gone from $152 to more than $1,000 per month since draconian health care cuts became effective in March. Moratorium NOW! organizer and city worker Andrea Egypt also addressed the court, saying the situation in Detroit “parallels the austerity measures imposed on the public workers in Greece by the officialdom, the banks and the corporations.”Mass water shutoffs an ‘international disgrace’But it was when Hamel, the last objector of the morning session, took the podium that for the first time the mass water shutoffs were brought into the city’s bankruptcy case.“The Detroit Free Press reported [EM Kevyn] Orr’s office calling the water shutoffs, quote, a necessary part of Detroit’s restructuring, close quote. The real agenda,” continued Hamel, “is to make the water department more attractive for privatization to union busters like Veolia Corporation, known worldwide for its crimes against humanity, especially against the Palestinian people.“While the poorest Detroiters have their water cut off for owing $150, JPMorgan Chase, UBS [United Bank of Switzerland], Loop Financial and Morgan Stanley were paid $537 million in termination fees on interest rate swaps out of $1 billion in bonds issued from 2010 to 2013, bonds that were earmarked to fund repairs of the water infrastructure system, not line the pockets of these four banks. Orr, while cutting off water to the poor and raising water rates, has not taken one step to recover this $537 million giveaway to the banks.”Hamel challenged the court: “As you have stated on prior occasions, Judge Rhodes, the buck stops with you in these bankruptcy proceedings. It is up to you to stop the national and international disgrace and humanitarian disaster of mass water shutoffs in the city of Detroit. You must immediately enjoin these shutoffs by placing a moratorium on them today and ordering Orr to implement a real water affordability plan for the poorest Detroiters.“And it is up to you to order Orr and his cronies to stop shilling for the banks that Jones Day [Orr’s former law firm, which represents the EM-run city) lists as its clients, and to recoup and recover the $537 million paid to the banks out of water bonds meant for the people. Chase and UBS have a record of criminal fraud regarding swaps like these all across the U.S. Go after the banks, not the poor, because in Detroit, the city most devastated by years of bank fraud and racist predatory lending, the people are paying the banks rather than the other way around. This is not equitable.”Water shutoffs ‘a problem affecting this bankruptcy’The audience applauded Hamel’s testimony, and then Rhodes demanded that the Jones Day lawyer for the city address the water shutoffs. Her lack of knowledge was immediately apparent and the judge ordered her to bring to the afternoon session a representative of the city who could address the crisis and the way the city was handling it.From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., activists with Moratorium NOW! and other groups gathered in front of the courthouse for a people’s speakout against the plan of austerity. Retirees and others who had testified in court were interviewed by local media and spoke at the rally.At the 2 p.m. session, Darryl Latimer, deputy director of the water department, was presented to the court and grilled by Judge Rhodes. It soon became clear the city has no program for reaching customers with overdue water bills and that a whopping 30 percent down payment is needed for the “payment plan” offered by the city. While Latimer stated there is flexibility with the 30 percent, many observers said that that was an outright lie. Latimer also lamely claimed that they don’t shut off water to people, only to addresses, and that residents are not warned of the shutoffs. He said that informational inserts have been put in with bills and that a “water fair” is being planned.“Your residential shutoff program has caused not only a lot of anger in the city but also a lot of hardship,” said Rhodes, who added, “It’s caused a lot of bad publicity for the city that it doesn’t need right now.” The judge admonished Latimer that the water shutoffs are “a problem affecting this bankruptcy” and that the city “has to do much, much better” to advise residents of payment plan options and impending shutoffs.“If your report is accurate,” Rhodes told Latimer, “it sounds like efforts are needed to help residents maintain their water services. That’s a solvable problem. Mr. Orr needs to come up with a much more aggressive plan to solve that problem.”Rhodes ordered Latimer to appear in court on July 21 with EM representatives to “report on what initiatives the water department is taking.”The water shutoffs being addressed in bankruptcy court was top news for the day, with radio and television reports including interviews with Hamel and retirees.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

What To Do This Weekend in Pasadena

first_img Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Business News Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Make a comment First Heatwave Expected Next Week ShareShareTweetSharePin it Here are our carefully culled top picks from dozens of Pasadena events the very best things to taste, watch, listen to, and experience, all presented weekly in our e!Pasadena email newsletter: Community News Herbeauty6 Lies You Should Stop Telling Yourself Right NowHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyA Mental Health Chatbot Which Helps People With DepressionHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty14 Effortless Looks That Make Men StareHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyAmazing Sparks Of On-Screen Chemistry From The 90-sHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty11 Yummy Spices For A Flat TummyHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyRobert Irwin Recreates His Father’s Iconic PhotosHerbeautyHerbeautycenter_img Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Community News Subscribe Uncategorized What To Do This Weekend in Pasadena Published on Thursday, June 7, 2018 | 12:26 pm Top of the News More Cool Stuff Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadenalast_img read more

Lack of political action is adding to Limerick’s housing crisis

first_imgRELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Previous articleFree condoms campaign to encourage safe sexNext articleListen: The Last Post with Andrew Carey February 16, 2019 Alan Jacqueshttp://www.limerickpost.ie Print NewsHousingPoliticsLack of political action is adding to Limerick’s housing crisisBy Alan Jacques – February 13, 2019 1363 Limerick on Covid watch list WhatsApp Limerick Sinn Fein TD Maurice QuinlivanWITH the latest figures from Daft.ie showing that rent prices in Limerick City are now 16.7 per cent higher than last year, Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan has called on Housing Minster Eoghan Murphy to introduce rent certainty in the local market.“Renters in Limerick are continuing to see their rents spiral out of control, as Fine Gael refuse to take radical action to address the problem. Limerick has been particularly hard hit with huge rent increases. The average rent in Limerick City is now € €1,171 per month, a 16.7 per cent increase on the same time last year.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “This is not a sustainable. How on earth are working people looking to rent in Limerick City supposed to afford such an increase in rent in one year?” Deputy Quinlivan asked.“The Minister’s failure to get to grips with the crisis in the rental sector continues to heap pressure on struggling renters and effectively locks low-income earners out of the rental market. We know Rent Certainty alone will not resolve the issue of high rents. It will, however, put a break on the unaffordable rent increases that thousands of people are facing.“The huge increase in rents coupled with a severe shortage of homes to rent and buy is exacerbating the housing crisis,” he claimed.Meanwhile, Labour Party Housing spokesperson Jan O’Sullivan stated this week that she believes homelessness can be ended by legal and practical action.Labour Party Housing spokesperson Jan O’SullivanThe former Housing Minister insists that if the ideals of the Democratic Programme are to be fulfilled 100 years after its publication, then all barriers to housing must be removed.According to Deputy O’Sullivan, the ideals adopted by the first Dáil 100 years ago are a challenge that we are now in a position to rise to.“Ireland is now a developed nation; we have worked our way out of the worst economic disaster since the foundation of the State; there is wealth but this is not shared equally and many of the children in our State are living in poverty, some are homeless, some haven’t got the most basic right of knowing their own identity.“With political will, we can now chart a course to address the needs of all our children. Nearly 4,000 of them are without a secure roof over their heads.“Between November 2017 and November 2018, there has been a 14 per cent rise in child homelessness.“Last week at the Raise the Roof conference, architect Mel Reynolds pointed out that there is enough Local Authority owned land, zoned for housing, to build 50,000 units of accommodation nationally, 30,000 of those in the Dublin area.  What is missing is the will and drive from Government.“In the Labour Party, we have presented detailed costed proposals for 80,000 social and affordable homes to be built over five years. That is the scale of what is needed and delivery at present falls very far short of that.“Labour has also steered a Bill through the Dáil which is now stalled in committee that would oblige Housing Authorities and the state to prioritise the interests of the child and to assist families, including providing them with safe accommodation.“We can end child homelessness by legal and practical action. As long as the will is there,” she concluded. Linkedin Advertisementcenter_img Limerick county house prices to rise 5% in 2021 Limerick city house prices rise 4.9% as time to sell falls Housing 37 Compulsory Purchase Orders issued as council takes action on derelict sites TAGSHousingLimerick City and CountyNewspolitics Twitter Email Mortgage payment break for local authority home loan borrowers will be extended by a further three months TechPost | Episode 9 | Pay with Google, WAZE – the new Google Maps? and Speak don’t Type!last_img read more

Colombian National Police Lead Fight Against Organized Crime, Drug Trade

first_img “This fall in numbers happened through a series of internal wars, but didn’t coincide with a reduction in territorial control,” Avila told Diálogo. Urabeños on the rise across Colombia Over the past two years, he said, these organized crime groups have increased their presence from 284 to 316 municipalities, with the Urabeños expanding east from Uraba towards Norte de Santander on Colombia’s border with Venezuela. This expansion has led Colombian organized crime groups to diversify their income-generating activities. “Drug trafficking is still the number one source of income for the Bacrim, followed by gold mining in the Urabeños heartland in Antioquía, Cordoba and Chocó. So while people use the Urabeños name in Valle de Cauca and Cauca, they are not part of the Urabeños core,” McDermott said. “The command nodule of the Urabeños criminal network is in Urabá and Córdoba.” Melo said his agency’s main targets at the moment are Urabeños leaders Otoniel and Gavilan, the new Rastrojos leader Alias César, and Martin Farfan Diaz (alias “Pijarvey”), former leader of the right-wing Popular Revolutionary Anti-Terrorist Army of Colombia [Ejército Revolucionario Popular Antiterrorista Colombiano, or ERPAC]. He added that the territorial focus is on Nariño, Cauca, Norte de Santander and Antioquia, where there’s a strategic overlap between the FARC and the Bacrim. Internal three-tier Bacrim structure Avila said the Urabeños still derive most of their income from drug trafficking, but increasingly depend on revenue from illegal mining, arms trafficking and micro-extortion in the cities. “They also pull in big money buying and selling high-caliber weaponry such as AK-47s through the Pacific coast, as well as pulling in explosives from Peru on the Atlantic coast,” he added. “The police are beginning to look at post-conflict now, and the concentration seems to be more on the community policing side,” McDermott explained. “There’s a three-tier structure with the big capos like Otoniel [at the top], then the regional lieutenants or Oficinas de Cobro. In the third tier are common criminals who get subcontracted work thrown at them every now and again.” Organized crime groups operating in Colombia now encompass nearly 3,800 members, Melo said, noting that in 2012, his men captured 2,422 members and this year they’ve captured 1,744. During the same period, 17 top military commanders were also nabbed, as well as 37 second- and third-tier local leaders. “One of the challenges with the Bacrim today is that they’re not an easy identifiable structure,” McDermott said. “If you knock out elements of the franchise, other local elements come up. That is the versatility of a criminal network as opposed to a hierarchical structure. This has been the result of a evolution and learning process since the time when Pablo Escobar was killed on a Medellín rooftop in 1993.” Changing drug routes across South, Central America At this stage, said Avila, “the police need to prop up both their counter-intelligence operations as well as deal with the Bacrim’s incursions into money laundering.” Melo said that in 2013, as part of the annulment of ownership and administrative expropriation of illicitly acquired land, Colombia’s Judicial Police (DIJIN) already had opened investigations into nearly 500 properties illegally owned by organized crime groups. The state expropriated close to 200 of these properties. Melo added that the money-making strategies of the Urabeños as well as the Rastrojos have pushed both rivals to change drug routes. This includes pushing into Venezuela to gain more access to the lucrative markets of South and Central America. According to Insight Crime research, the Rastrojos were the major suppliers of cocaine to Mexico’s most powerful transnational criminal organization, the Sinaloa cartel. With the group’s implosion, Mexican buyers have been seeking new suppliers in Colombia — with indications that they have established direct ties with the FARC. “The principle transnational operations of the Rastrojos were in Venezuela and Ecuador, and the Urabeños have links in Panama on their back door,” McDermott said. “The Urabeños have been muscling in on Venezuelan action and there were suggestions that a recent four-ton [cocaine] seizure in Guayaquil [Ecuador] was an Urabeños load.” By Dialogo September 13, 2013center_img BOGOTÁ — As peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia remain on hold in Havana, Colombia’s National Police are already strategizing for a post-conflict era — with the task of combating new and streamlined organized criminal groups throughout Colombia’s cities. Col. Esteban Arias Melo, deputy director of the Colombian National Police’s anti-narcotics force, said his 7,600 officers “focus on both drug trafficking as well as fighting the restructured Bacrim [organized crime groups], as it’s now impossible to separate these two factors.” The National Police broke the back of one of these groups, the Rastrojos, capturing two of its main leaders last year. Since then, analysts say this Pacific-based crime group has been weakened through internal fighting — opening the door for its main rival, the Urabeños, to expand its territory in the southwestern province of Valle del Cauca. “Up until 2012, the Rastrojos were the strongest Bacrim in the country, and their stronghold was along the Pacific coast in the departments of Valle del Cauca, Cauca and Nariño,” Melo said. One of the Rastrojo’s leaders, Javier Antonio Calle Serna (alias “Comba”) turned himself in to U.S. authorities in Aruba in May 2012. The next month, Diego Pérez Henano (alias “Diego Rastrojo”) was captured in western Venezuela, and on Oct. 4, Comba’s brother, Luís Calle Serna (alias “El Combatiente”) surrendered to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Jeremy McDermott, director of Insight Crime — an independent research outfit based in Medellín, Colombia — told Diálogo that the fall of the Rastrojos “was due to the surrender of Javier Calle Serna and all the intelligence he gave to the DEA, which led to a wave of arrests of Rastrojo commanders across the country.” Rise of the Urabeños franchise “With the implosion of the Rastrojos, the Urabeños were able to capitalize on their contacts in Valle de Cauca and invade the extraordinarily important strategic real estate that is Buenaventura on the Pacific coast,” McDermott said. “Together with [Greylin Fernando Varón Cadena Alias] Martin Bala [Urabeños leader captured by pólice in May 2013] they even set up “oficinas de cobro” [mafia enforcers] in the Rastrojos capital of Cali.” McDermott said the Urabeños also managed to bribe several senior Rastrojos commanders to come over to their side, adding: “This is not a hierarchical structure [like the] Medellin cartel. This is a franchise.” Estimating the strength of this franchise — as well as the size of Colombia’s organized crime business in general — is quite difficult. “If you lump together all the different organizations the Urabeños have absorbed, allied themselves with or forged agreements with, then you can inflate the numbers significantly,” Melo said. Ariel Avila, senior investigator for the Bogota-based online media outlet Las2orillas, explained that the paramilitary demobilization process in 2006 left 101 organized crime groups operating throughout Colombia. By 2008, there were seven — which eventually morphed into four groups: Los Urabeños, Los Rastrojos, the Bloque Libertador de Vichada and the Bloque Meta. last_img read more

CANSEC 2015: A Joint Effort to Combat a Common Threat

first_imgAl Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility on 15 January 2015 for the rampage that killed 12 people at France’s Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine a week earlier. The attack was years in the making, an AQAP leader said in a video, claiming that U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was the mastermind behind it. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility on 15 January 2015 for the rampage that killed 12 people at France’s Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine a week earlier. The attack was years in the making, an AQAP leader said in a video, claiming that U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was the mastermind behind it. Gen. Kelly also noted the five-year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti (12 January 2015), saying that the incredible resilience and strength of the Haitian people serves as an inspiration to us all. “And while it’s impossible to say ‘never again’ when it comes to preventing natural disasters, I have no doubt that our nations will be ready. We’re ready to respond, ready to help out, ready to come to the aid of one another—to confront whatever challenge we face.” The SOUTHCOM commander also leveraged his opening remarks to ask the participating nations’ representatives in the room to sign onto the Cooperative Situational Sensor Integration (CSSI) Memorandum of Understanding, the Aerial Intercept Assistance Agreement (AIAA), and the Technical Assistance Field Team (TAFT) agreement. “Your signatories’ commitment will go a long way toward achieving the goals of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI): to build a more peaceful and prosperous region in a safer and more secure Western Hemisphere.” Dr. Nottage noted that, like other countries in the area, Bahamians are facing the challenge of dealing with drugs passing through the island—in most cases en route to the United States—but weapons are being left behind and gangs are being established. As with other Caribbean islands, Nassau’s warm waters and stunning vistas create a tropical paradise that nonetheless is not immune to the dangers of transnational organized crime. “When it comes to the security of the Western Hemisphere, it doesn’t matter where you’re located on the map—if it’s a challenge faced by one of us, it’s a challenge faced by all of us,” stated Gen. Kelly. “Your participation in CANSEC demonstrates your country’s commitment to Caribbean security—a commitment shared by each and every one of us in this room,” said Gen. Kelly. “To our Canadian, French, British, and Dutch partners: your participation is a testament to the nature of the threat posed by transnational organized crime.” As with other Caribbean islands, Nassau’s warm waters and stunning vistas create a tropical paradise that nonetheless is not immune to the dangers of transnational organized crime. “When it comes to the security of the Western Hemisphere, it doesn’t matter where you’re located on the map—if it’s a challenge faced by one of us, it’s a challenge faced by all of us,” stated Gen. Kelly. At last year’s CANSEC, participants identified ways to support the new regional illicit-trafficking response strategy of the Caribbean Community Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (CARICOM IMPACS). According to Gen. Kelly, “We’ve done a lot in the past year, and I think we can build on that momentum. This doesn’t just apply to counterdrug operations; I see opportunities for partnering in many different areas, especially when it comes to humanitarian relief, responding to pandemic diseases like Ebola, and energy security.” Dr. Nottage noted that, like other countries in the area, Bahamians are facing the challenge of dealing with drugs passing through the island—in most cases en route to the United States—but weapons are being left behind and gangs are being established. The conference included informative sessions, debates, and meetings centered on maintaining the maritime capacity for operations to counter transnational organized crime in an environment of limited resources. The next main regional conference sponsored by SOUTHCOM will be for the Central American countries (CENTSEC), and will take place 22-25 March 2015 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. “It’s more important to keep building bridges rather than walls,” concluded Dr. Nottage. In the words of Admiral Kelly, “when it comes to security (…), it doesn’t matter where you are on the map, if it’s a challenge faced by one of us, it’s a challenge faced by us all,” this gives a sense of security, protection. A union of force and the forces that bring back the idea of a soldier as a national hero. The guarantee of sovereignty. The lid to the tightly closed. Great article. Great news. Great event! Gen. Kelly also noted the five-year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti (12 January 2015), saying that the incredible resilience and strength of the Haitian people serves as an inspiration to us all. “And while it’s impossible to say ‘never again’ when it comes to preventing natural disasters, I have no doubt that our nations will be ready. We’re ready to respond, ready to help out, ready to come to the aid of one another—to confront whatever challenge we face.” By Dialogo January 21, 2015 The conference included informative sessions, debates, and meetings centered on maintaining the maritime capacity for operations to counter transnational organized crime in an environment of limited resources. The next main regional conference sponsored by SOUTHCOM will be for the Central American countries (CENTSEC), and will take place 22-25 March 2015 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. “It’s more important to keep building bridges rather than walls,” concluded Dr. Nottage. Representatives included military personnel and civilians from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, the United States, regional organizations such as CARICOM, as well as observers from the Inter-American Defense Board, the Netherlands, France, Canada, and the United Kingdom. They gathered in Nassau, Bahamas, from 20-23 January, seeking to work together to address challenges to Caribbean security and sovereignty. This horrific act in France was also a reminder to us all that our shared democratic values—the principles that unite the Western Hemisphere with our European partners—are also vulnerable to attack, said U.S. Marine Corps General John F. Kelly, commander of the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) during his opening remarks at the XIII Caribbean Nations Security Conference (CANSEC). “And we must always be ready to defend our nations from terrorists seeking to harm our citizens or criminals seeking to undermine our institutions. Now, more than ever, we must be vigilant. We must stand together. And we must work together to confront whatever challenge we face,” he added. The SOUTHCOM commander also leveraged his opening remarks to ask the participating nations’ representatives in the room to sign onto the Cooperative Situational Sensor Integration (CSSI) Memorandum of Understanding, the Aerial Intercept Assistance Agreement (AIAA), and the Technical Assistance Field Team (TAFT) agreement. “Your signatories’ commitment will go a long way toward achieving the goals of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI): to build a more peaceful and prosperous region in a safer and more secure Western Hemisphere.” Representatives included military personnel and civilians from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, the United States, regional organizations such as CARICOM, as well as observers from the Inter-American Defense Board, the Netherlands, France, Canada, and the United Kingdom. They gathered in Nassau, Bahamas, from 20-23 January, seeking to work together to address challenges to Caribbean security and sovereignty. Gen. Kelly was preceded by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Commander, Commodore Roderick Bowe, who briefly stated that, “it was important to rekindle friendships and form new ones,” referring to all countries present at the Conference. Cdre. Bowe then introduced the Bahamian Minister of National Security, Dr. Bernard J. Nottage, who said that one of the major threats in the maritime domain of The Bahamas is human smuggling and illegal immigration, “where thousands seek to leave their homeland in search for a better life.” And he is right. According to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force statistics for the period of 2000 to 2015, over 26,000 illegal immigrants have been apprehended at sea. Gen. Kelly was preceded by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Commander, Commodore Roderick Bowe, who briefly stated that, “it was important to rekindle friendships and form new ones,” referring to all countries present at the Conference. Cdre. Bowe then introduced the Bahamian Minister of National Security, Dr. Bernard J. Nottage, who said that one of the major threats in the maritime domain of The Bahamas is human smuggling and illegal immigration, “where thousands seek to leave their homeland in search for a better life.” And he is right. According to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force statistics for the period of 2000 to 2015, over 26,000 illegal immigrants have been apprehended at sea. This horrific act in France was also a reminder to us all that our shared democratic values—the principles that unite the Western Hemisphere with our European partners—are also vulnerable to attack, said U.S. Marine Corps General John F. Kelly, commander of the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) during his opening remarks at the XIII Caribbean Nations Security Conference (CANSEC). “And we must always be ready to defend our nations from terrorists seeking to harm our citizens or criminals seeking to undermine our institutions. Now, more than ever, we must be vigilant. We must stand together. And we must work together to confront whatever challenge we face,” he added. During their opening remarks, both Dr. Nottage and Gen. Kelly mentioned that while great progress has been made, the countries in the region still face challenges, such as doing a better job of gathering and sharing information. Their maritime and air-domain capabilities, for example, could be enhanced by better utilizing information-sharing technologies, said Dr. Nottage. “Improved communication among our nations would also help combat the threat of criminal networks and trafficking in illegal firearms and drugs—something that impacts every nation in this room,” added Gen. Kelly. At last year’s CANSEC, participants identified ways to support the new regional illicit-trafficking response strategy of the Caribbean Community Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (CARICOM IMPACS). According to Gen. Kelly, “We’ve done a lot in the past year, and I think we can build on that momentum. This doesn’t just apply to counterdrug operations; I see opportunities for partnering in many different areas, especially when it comes to humanitarian relief, responding to pandemic diseases like Ebola, and energy security.” And that’s why the main topic of this year’s CANSEC was “Countering Transnational Organized Crime and Threats to Caribbean Territorial Sovereignty.” The conference, co-sponsored by the SOUTHCOM and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, serves as an executive-level forum for SOUTHCOM and defense and security chiefs from the Caribbean, as well as partners from regional organizations, the U.S. government, Canada, and Europe, to discuss the way ahead for a regional effort and strategy to counter transnational organized crime and build a united front against this shared problem. “Your participation in CANSEC demonstrates your country’s commitment to Caribbean security—a commitment shared by each and every one of us in this room,” said Gen. Kelly. “To our Canadian, French, British, and Dutch partners: your participation is a testament to the nature of the threat posed by transnational organized crime.” During their opening remarks, both Dr. Nottage and Gen. Kelly mentioned that while great progress has been made, the countries in the region still face challenges, such as doing a better job of gathering and sharing information. Their maritime and air-domain capabilities, for example, could be enhanced by better utilizing information-sharing technologies, said Dr. Nottage. “Improved communication among our nations would also help combat the threat of criminal networks and trafficking in illegal firearms and drugs—something that impacts every nation in this room,” added Gen. Kelly. And that’s why the main topic of this year’s CANSEC was “Countering Transnational Organized Crime and Threats to Caribbean Territorial Sovereignty.” The conference, co-sponsored by the SOUTHCOM and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, serves as an executive-level forum for SOUTHCOM and defense and security chiefs from the Caribbean, as well as partners from regional organizations, the U.S. government, Canada, and Europe, to discuss the way ahead for a regional effort and strategy to counter transnational organized crime and build a united front against this shared problem. last_img read more

Briana Day’s late rebounds and defensive stops guide Syracuse to 62-61 win against Boston College

first_imgWith less than 15 seconds left in the game, Syracuse’s fate was in Briana Day’s right hand. The center was isolated in the post against Boston College’s Mariella Fasoula, who matched Day in height, but was physically stronger.Fasoula knocked Day back a few feet and spun right for a layup that would’ve given the Eagles a two-point lead. Day recovered, jumping with her right arm extended to knock away the shot. She snagged the ball out of the air and gave Syracuse one last possession to try and win the game.“Briana Day took the game over,” Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman said. “To get two or three stops late and six rebounds in the quarter, it was tremendous. That was huge for us.”She grabbed 12 rebounds in the second half, including six in the fourth quarter, and forced multiple defensive stops down the stretch. Her final block and rebound set the Orange up for its final, and game-winning, possession with just nine seconds left. Day had a season-high 15 boards, added seven points and her play was crucial in the final minutes of Syracuse’s (15-6, 5-3 Atlantic Coast) 62-61 win over Boston College (13-7, 1-6) at the Carrier Dome on Wednesday.“She just has a nose for the ball and I’m really proud of her,” SU guard Brittney Sykes said. “Especially the last play, we needed, well the last two plays she got the defensive rebound and the offensive rebound on the opposite end. … That’s what she’s great at.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn the final seconds of the first quarter, Day grabbed guard Sykes’ missed layup amid a crowd of three opposing players. She stepped with her right foot through the scrum and converted on the lay in, but it was a bright spot in an otherwise lackluster half for the center.Through the first 20 minutes, she had just three rebounds and two points. On the other end, Boston College’s centers scored 15 of the team’s 31 points.Whether it was Fasoula, who Hillsman noted before the game as an all-conference player — who excelled at making moves and scoring in the post — or her counterpart, Katie Quandt, nearly every inside bucket was the same. First a pass inside, then a spin move and an underhand toss at the hoop. The centers used their long arms to reach around Day and score.In the second half, Hillsman told Day to stop playing behind Boston College’s centers and to jump out in front of passes to deny the ball down low. From the bench, assistant coach Tammi Reiss yelled at her to “grind it out.” On her own, though, Day started getting out in front of the go-to spins and forcing the bigs away from the basket.“Just move my feet, really that’s all I could do,” Day said. “… I guess that worked.”Day swarmed Fasoula, forcing her to take a tough shot that missed from the outer edge of the lane. The next time down, Day slid in front of the spin to the left and pressured the layup enough that Fasoula sent it wide off the backboard.With 1:49 left in the game and Syracuse ahead by two points, Boston College lobbed a pass in to Fasoula. Day leapt forward to swat the pass, but missed and Fasoula converted the game-tying layup behind her.Day dropped her head and trudged down the court.Three times in its last four possessions, Boston College went to Fasoula inside. All but once, Day came up with the stop.And with nine seconds remaining and a game-winning basket just a few feet, Day redeemed herself, denying Fasoula’s attempt at heroics and giving the Orange a chance to win the game.“Briana Day was huge down the stretch, “ Hillsman said. “… Getting us another possession and that’s what it’s all about for us. Comments Published on January 27, 2016 at 11:34 pm Contact Jon: [email protected] | @jmettus Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more