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Colombians Brace for Violence as FARC Ends Unilateral Ceasefire

first_imgBy Dialogo January 28, 2013 BOGOTÁ — Colombian authorities say they expect an escalation in violence now that Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) terrorists have ended their unilateral two-month ceasefire. On Jan. 20, the day the ceasefire expired, FARC rebels blew up the Transandino oil pipeline, which can transport 46,000 barrels of crude a day and is located in the southern province of Putumayo. Following a meeting with top military officials after the attack, President Juan Manuel Santos said “we are on the offensive with everything we have.” Two days earlier, in the department of Cundinimarca, police seized an arsenal of explosives. Authorities confiscated 250 kilograms of ammonium nitrate — the oxiding agent used in fertilizer bombs — in the raid, along with detonating cord and homemade hand grenades, all of which belonged to the FARC’s Frente 22 brigade. Speaking to reporters at the scene in the town of La Palma, Gen. José Roberto León, director of the Colombian National Police, said that among the items taken were the blueprints of two police training colleges in Bogotá, and those of an army installation. León said the Jan. 18 seizure was the result of a three-month-long surveillance and investigative operation code-named Destello, and which, he said, “thwarted potential FARC attacks on the José María Córdoba Army College and the police training colleges of Gen. Francisco de Paula Santander and Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada in Bogotá.” Army operation detains ‘La Caponera’ Last November, FARC commanders announced a two-month unilateral cessation of all operations as a show of “goodwill” while peace accords were underway in Havana between rebels and the Colombian government. The ceasefire, which ended Jan. 20, was seen as an attempt to force President Juan Manuel Santos into a bilateral ceasefire. Yet Santos did not scale back any military operations during this period. Operation Destello resulted in the capture of the 27-year-old FARC guerrilla Luz Yenny Hernández, alias “La Caponera.” Hernández, said to be a high-ranking operative with Frente 22, was wanted on various terrorism charges. León also suggested that the guerrillas had used the ceasefire to re-organize and re-arm. Gen. José Javier Pérez, chief of staff of the Armed Forces, agreed, noting that “while there had been a 70 percent decrease in FARC operations during the ceasefire, not all regions of the country were adhering to this agreement.” The most FARC attacks during the ceasefire both took place in the department of Cauca, in the towns of Guapi and Caloto, where guerrillas attacked a police station and detonated explosives near a school. In each case, civilians were injured. For FARC splinter groups, it’s business as usual While the Santos government didn’t expect attacks to stop completely during the FARC ceasefire, it was wary of scaling back military operations — keeping in mind events that took place during the government of President Andres Pastrana, when a region of southern Colombia the size of Switzerland was demilitarized. Between 1999 and 2002, peace talks were held there, yet the FARC took advantage of this period and used the area to re-arm, ship narcotics, imprison hostages and train new recruits. “It was unrealistic to expect a total absence of violence during the two-month period, and it was impossible to see that the FARC secretariat had control over all wings and factions,” said Kevin Howlett of the Colombia-based analytical website Colombia-Reports following the ceasefire’s announcement in November. While various FARC fronts may have obeyed orders from the political wing of the group now holding peace talks in Cuba, splinter groups — dependent on income from weapons and narcotics trafficking — continued to operate as usual in the department of Cauca and other regions in southern Colombia. The Armed Forces said in a Jan. 19 bulletin that it had recorded 57 ceasefire violations. These included six FARC attacks against military patrols, the activation of 23 explosive devices, the setup of two illegal checkpoints, the destruction of an electricity transmission tower and nine attacks against civilians, including three murders. FARC rebels said to be re-arming from Ecuador Meanwhile, news reports coming from neighboring Ecuador indicate that FARC rebels in border areas used this period of relative calm to re-arm and re-group. This was confirmed by Ecuadorian Brig. Gen. Fernando Proaño Daza, who commands 12,000 soldiers deployed along the shared border with Colombia. “From the very beginning of the peace process, we have noticed an increase in traffic here and we have captured a large quantity ammunition and weapons,” he told reporters. “So we can safely say that the FARC has used this situation to strengthen their position in anticipation of what might happen in the future.” Besides weapons, border authorities in Ecuador’s province of Esmeraldas recently seized about 5,000 barrels of contraband gasoline and almost 1,400 sticks of Pentrite or the plastic explosive PETN. “These are months of harvest in Colombia, so drug traffickers are looking to smuggle elements used in the production of cocaine,” Proaño added. Santos, speaking in Cauca, warned FARC fighters that Colombian soldiers are ready and will respond in kind to any terrorist action. Despite the lull in violence, Colombia suffered terrorist attacks in 14 of the country’s 32 departments during the two-month ceasefire, according to Colombia’s Defensoría del Pueblo (human rights ombudsman). “We hope society will stay strong in the face of violence,” said Howlett. “Anecdotally, we perceive a noticeable upsurge in army and armed police patrols in Bogotá. This is a sight we may have to get used to seeing over the coming months.” Santos has given a final deadline of November 2013 for the Havana peace talks to be concluded. These negotiations will continue with or without a ceasefire in place.last_img read more

The EU has warned Airbnb that it must transparently show the total cost of the arrangement, including the cost of services and cleaning

first_imgThe virtual world is still not a fully explored territory. His homelessness opens up many possibilities and jobs, but they are also increasingly aligning with the laws of the real world. Thus, Airbnb, one of the most famous online travel services, has become the scene of several controversies this year.First of all, the public was shocked by the official announcement of the company when earlier this year it decided to share its business information with the Chinese government, of course about customers who rent accommodation in the most populous country in the world through the service. Also, it means that the data on guests will be shared with the Government by service providers, new and old, at the moment when they start accepting accommodation reservations, reports with the BBC.Airbnb at the time explained the whole situation as a necessity, that is, compliance with local laws and regulations is the way business works in China, if they want to be operational.But the problems with the Asian market do not stop there. In early June this year, the Japanese government decided that any accommodation provider who has not registered their business can do so only on June 15 and accordingly must cancel all reservations made before that date without a valid permit. This has led to a massive cancellation of bookings in Japan, thousands of them, in the otherwise most attractive destination of the Asia-Pacific region. “We know it’s irrelevant, and we’ve said little about it,” Airbnb said at the time, securing a $ 10 million fund to cover the additional costs of the changes.According to the latest news, The European Commission has warned Airbnb that their terms of use are not in line with European consumer protection laws. Namely, the Commission appealed that the company must transparently present the total costs of the intermediation arrangements, including the costs of services and cleaning. If this cannot be projected in advance, the Commission suggests, the service should at least warn users of possible additional costs that will be added to the price at a later date. According to the European leadership, users should have access to information on whether the accommodation is privately owned or the service is professional. These are just some of the examples where Airbnb’s business is not in line with the European legislative framework. The most controversial among them proved to be the practice by which this service violates the basic rights of consumers by the fact that the user of the service cannot sue the provider in case of any form of damage.“More and more users are renting accommodation online, and this has opened up a handful of new opportunities for the tourism sector. However, popularity must not be an excuse for violating European consumer protection frameworks. Consumers have a right to know what and how much they are expected to pay for, ”said Věra Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumer Protection and Gender Equality.Airbnb said that they take this problem seriously and that they will do everything in their power to be as transparent to users and the community as possible. “Guests are instructed on all possible costs, including taxes and fees prior to their confirmation of booking the desired accommodation unit. In cooperation with the competent authorities, we will try to clarify this situation as soon as possible. “Despite all the above obstacles, Airbnb remains the world’s leading travel service and intermediary between passengers and renters. Also, the service functions as a social network for useful information. The estimated value of the company is $ 30 billion and it is listed as one of the most valuable companies in Silicon Valley. One of their global goals is to provide a billion guests a year in tourist destinations around the world by 2028 through their own service.PHOTO: Marketing Matterslast_img read more

PREMIUMTransjakarta plans feeder expansion to serve more passengers in the ‘burbs

first_imgGoogle Serving millions of passenger trips a year on the many routes it provides, the city-owned Transjakarta Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service has become an indispensable part of the daily commute for residents in the capital and its suburbs.Launched in 2004, the Transjakarta BRT – also known simply as “the busway” – served more than 264 million cumulative passenger trips last year with its 3,865-strong fleet, ranging from big articulated buses to micro buses on its 13 main corridors and several sub-routes that criss-cross Jakarta.Amid the company’s efforts to spread its service coverage, however, many areas are still not linked to the Transjakarta network, which has deterred residents from using the service.Tirta Umbas, a 25-year-old office worker who lives in Pasar Minggu, South Jak… Forgot Password ? Linkedin Log in with your social account Facebook Topics : LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Transjakarta-lanes transjakarta public-transportation Jakarta-transportation Jakarta-trafficlast_img read more

Club Brugge’s Okereke suffers foot injury

first_imgNigeria forward, David Okereke, will be out of action for Club Brugge for up to six weeks after fracturing his foot in training on Thursday. Aanvaller David Okereke liep op training na contact een fractuur op ter hoogte van de middenvoet. De Nigeriaan zal 4 tot 6 weken niet beschikbaar zijn. We wensen hem een spoedig herstel! Loading… Club Brugge currently top the Belgian Pro League by a massive 13 points gap over Gent. Read Also:Europa League: Manchester United draw excites Okereke Their European campaign recently ended after losing 6-1 on aggregate to Manchester United in the Europa League round of 32. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 center_img Promoted ContentThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MorePlaying Games For Hours Can Do This To Your Body11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table TopTop 7 Best Car Manufacturers Of All Time10 Legendary Movies To Learn History From20+ Albino Animals That Are Very Rare And Unique7 Non-Obvious Things That Damage Your Phone8 Ways Drones Will Automate Our FutureCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A TattooWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?Birds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For Them The 22-year old Nigerian has played 34 times in all competitions this season, scoring 11 goals and providing two assists. He was a summer signing from Italian Serie B outfit Spezia. “Attacker David Okereke sustained a fracture at the level of the midfoot during training after contact,” read a statement on Club Brugge’s Twitter handle. “The Nigerian will not be available for 4 to 6 weeks. We wish him a speedy recovery!”Advertisementlast_img read more

Girls & Boys High School Basketball Scores

first_imgWRBI Area High School Girls Basketball Scores.Thursday  (12-19)Oldenburg Academy  51     Southwestern Hanover  39Rising Sun  66     Milan  35North Decatur  59     Waldron  31South Decatur  54     Morristown  49Borden  63     Shawe Memorial  35Southwestern Shelby  84     Edinburgh  19Beech Grove  54     Indian Creek  53WRBI Area High School Boys Basketball Scores.Thursday  (12-19)East Central  57     South Dearborn  39last_img

Leising meets with U.S. Green Building Council

first_imgIndianapolis, In. — Republican state senator from Oldenburg Jean Leising meets with members of the U.S. Green Building Council, a nonprofit design and construction council that transforms the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, at the Statehouse. The group discussed the public policy-making process and legislation moving through the General Assembly.last_img

James Wilson joins Championship leaders Brighton on loan from Manchester United

first_imgSky Bet Championship leaders Brighton have signed Manchester United striker James Wilson on loan until the end of the season. The 19-year-old, who has made two appearances for Louis van Gaal’s side this campaign, will stay at the AMEX Stadium until May where he will try and help unbeaten Brighton’s push for the Premier League. Boss Chris Hughton told the club’s official website: “We have been keen to add a striker, and James has been our number one target for some time, so we are absolutely delighted to have completed the deal. “James is an exciting young striker, and we hope that this move will prove to be very good for all parties involved. “He is very highly thought of at Old Trafford and he has been in and around the first-team picture at Manchester United since Ryan Giggs gave him his debut the season before last. “There was a huge amount of competition from rival clubs to sign James on loan and it has been another great team effort to secure his signature. “I now hope he will help us maintain our excellent start to the season, and bring additional goals to the squad.” The Seagulls are the only team to remain unbeaten in the Football League this season and take on Birmingham on Saturday. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Officials say university’s $1.2 billion endowment loss will only affect 2010

first_imgThough the nationwide financial crisis has had little effect on the university’s operating costs for this year, the $1.2 billion loss endured by USC’s endowment over the last year will likely have an impact on the school’s spending for 2010, administrators say.Until June 2007, the endowment, which pays for 5 percent of the university’s operations and accumulates interest through various investments, enjoyed steady growth leading to a high of $3.7 billion.But it began a decline later that year, mirroring the first tremors of the worldwide market crash, falling from $3.6 billion in June 2008 to $2.4 billion by March 2009.“All markets were down. International stock markets were down, US stock markets were down, so there was no place to hide,” said USC associate senior vice president and treasurer Ruth Wernig. “Everything pretty much went down. Plus, we’re in the middle of a credit crisis.”USC aims for low risks and high returns by diversifying its investment portfolio, with substantial investments both in the United States and abroad, Wernig said. Endowment funds are also invested in real estate, energy investments, bonds, venture capital and hedge funds.Though the information for the most recent financial quarter is still being compiled, Wernig said the endowment rose slightly to $2.5 billion in June, and showed improvement in July, August and September as well.Despite a $1.2 billion loss over the course of a year, the administration minimized the importance of the endowment for the university.“It’s a significant loss for the endowment, but a drop in the endowment does not have a big effect on the university like it does at other schools, so that’s a good thing,” Wernig said.USC’s interim senior vice president and chief financial officer Robert Abeles said the loss over the past few months did not affect spending for this fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2010.As with last year, $140 million, or 5 percent of the endowment, will be spent.The reason the endowment payout — the amount the university uses on an annual basis — hasn’t decreased, Abeles said, is because USC calculates the payout based on an average of the endowment value over the past three years, rather than just the previous quarter.This calculation, known as a rolling average, shields the university payout from year-to-year fluctuations of the market.Lawrence Picus, a professor of education policy and finance at the Rossier School of Education, said he would be surprised if some schools don’t use a rolling average to help smooth out fluctuations.“By having a rolling average, it gives us a soft landing when the value of the endowment goes down,” Picus said. “It’s a strategy to make sure that no one is badly hurt in bad times and that we wisely think about how to use the money in good [times].”As a result, the endowment payout this year still factored in gains made in the stock market three years ago, nullifying some of the losses from over the last year, Abeles said.“The endowment went down a billion, [but] no one has felt that effect yet because we’ve kept the payout constant,” Wernig said.Next year, Abeles said, the endowment’s decrease will have more of an impact on spending because the worst months of the economic crisis will be calculated into the rolling average.“The bottom line is [there will be] no effect on the university’s operations this year, but there’s a potential effect for fiscal year 2011. We’re getting into years now that weren’t so good for the endowment,” he said.The Board of Trustees, which approves the payout percentage in the spring, will vote whether to increase it to match this year’s $140 million, or keep it consistent and less money.Abeles said it would be difficult to project how much the payout might be cut next year, but said he expects it to be cut by less than 10 percent — meaning the overall operating budget would lose no more than half a percent of its funds from the payout.At the same time, Abeles said, he has warned the administration to be cautious about its spending and hiring. It is also not committing to beginning construction on new buildings, he said.Abeles said the university’s endowment losses over the last year are relatively small compared to other private universities, but affects the school less, because of its lack of dependence on the endowment for operating costs. He said the biggest problem USC would face financially is if people couldn’t afford to attend or if enrollment was dropping.“We haven’t had that problem. We’ve probably been the least affected of the major universities by this decline, and we don’t expect it to be a major factor in the years ahead,” Abeles said.last_img read more

Former colleagues relish opportunity to square off

first_imgEven though he is two years removed from his apprenticeship under Bo Ryan, UW-Milwaukee head coach Rob Jeter is still learning from his mentor.Lesson two of Jeter’s post-graduate program game took place Wednesday night at the Kohl Center, as the longtime student of Ryan brought his Panthers into town.”I thought I knew everything Bo was doing,” Jeter said. “I think I might’ve picked up a few more things.”However, the points of emphasis that Jeter focuses on as a competitor now are different than what he used to look for as a member of Ryan’s coaching staff.”Now I watch more how he handles himself on the sidelines, being a head coach,” Jeter said. “As an assistant, I would watch how he handled players, and how he would motivate guys, and how he would make decisions during games.”While the No. 7 Badgers did walk off the court with a relatively stress-free 19-point victory, both sides understood that next year, the score might not be so lopsided.”I understand where we are as a program; we have some young guys,” Jeter said. “It’s just we need some more continuity with players. Then we’ll be okay.””As soon as he gets those guys a little experience, it’ll be a little different,” Ryan said. “We’ll enjoy this one tonight, but know that probably next year, it’ll be a battle.”The joy of playing doesn’t just rest with Jeter, either. Ryan admitted that after being initially skittish, he now takes pleasure in coaching against his former protégé.”At first, I thought how hard it would be [to coach against him],” Ryan said. “Do I enjoy it? You know what, actually I do, because I think it’s good for both of us.”There was also one other lesson that Jeter said he learned, though this one was entirely self-taught.”I didn’t get a technical this year,” Jeter said with a wry smile.Big inside and outsideWisconsin junior big-man Brian Butch made a three-pointer against UW-M on Wednesday night. Usually this would hardly be headline news, as Butch had made 30 shots from long distance in his first two seasons and is a career 30-percent shooter from beyond the arc.However, the Polar Bear has struggled from long range this season as his trifecta against the Panthers was only his second of the season and his first since Nov. 15 against UW-Green Bay. On the season, Butch had been only 1-of-11 coming into the matchup with UW-M.”It works through itself, simply from what you’re doing in practice,” Ryan said. “The opportunities haven’t been there that much on the outside shot, but that’s okay, because he needs to get things done inside.”Butch chipped in with 11 points and eight rebounds against the Panthers, also tallying an assist and a blocked shot.”He was active and that was good,” Ryan said. “We needed that.”While Butch’s outside shooting has gone cold, he hasn’t let that affect the rest of his game. The Appleton native has basically maintained his averages of nine points and six rebounds per game, while shooting almost 50 percent from the field.Ryan maintains that Butch will continue to get the green light to let it fly, however.”You gotta guard him when he’s out there,” Ryan said. “Some team will make the mistake not to, and he’ll knock down two or three threes in a game coming up here. Don’t be surprised if he does that.”last_img read more

AHS science olympiads advance to state championship

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisThe Alpena High School Science Olympiad team will advance to the state championship after coming out on top against five other high schools for the 31st Annual Regional Science Olympiad at Alpena Community College.The Wildcats won 14 of the 23 STEM-related events, and will compete against other winning regional teams in Lansing on April 28th.Below are the Wildcats who earned three or more gold medals:Samantha Tadian (1st in Disease Detectives, Anatomy, Microbe Mission)Ashwin Chapamohan (1st in Herpetology, Rocks and Minerals, and Towers)Kevin Cook (1st in Herpetology, Helicopters, Rocks and Minerals)Jenna Peterson (1st in Chem Lab, Helicopters, Forensics)Bradley Thompson (1st in Remote Sensing, Material Science, and Towers).Junior high students also competed in the regional tournament. Alpena-Area Christian Homeschoolers won first place.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious Alpena Sheriff’s Office Welcomes Special Member to Their TeamNext When it comes to gun violence ‘enough is enough’last_img read more