Colombian Navy Destroys 3 Narco-labs on the Pacific Coast

first_imgBy Myriam Ortega/Diálogo November 04, 2020 In mid-September, the Colombian Navy dealt a new blow to narcotrafficking during an operation conducted in Cauca department, on the Pacific coast of Colombia. Three labs used to process coca base paste, which belonged to dissidents of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, were found and destroyed, the Navy said in a press release.Guided by naval intelligence, troops of the 42nd Marine Riverine Battalion, the 2nd Counternarcotics Battalion, and the 7th Air Command deployed in a hard-to-reach jungle area, where they found three illegal facilities capable of accommodating about 20 people, the Navy said.Guided by naval intelligence, Navy troops found three illegal structures that produced coca base paste in a jungle area of the Cauca department. (Photo: Colombian Navy’s Pacific Naval Force)On site, units found two seedbeds with 60,000 coca plants, 5,640 liters of coca base paste in process, 1,125 kilograms of macerated coca leaves, 9,728.5 liters of gasoline, 200 kg of solid chemical precursors, and several weapons. Service members also found three industrial leaf choppers, three presses, four motor pumps, and an industrial stove, among other tools used to produce the drug, and a fiberglass boat, the Navy reported in the statement.Colombian Marine Corps Colonel Wisner Paz Palomeque, 2nd Marine Brigade commander, told Diálogo that the three labs were capable of producing 2,000 to 3,000 kg of coca base paste monthly.“The [criminal] groups Structure 6 and Structure 30 are the owners of that drug; they own those manufacturing sites and labs that we’re destroying,” Col. Paz said.At the same time, near the mouth of the Bubey River, in Cauca department, the Navy made another seizure. “In one of the controls carried out by Battalion 42, upon inspecting one of the vessels that was crossing the river, that substance [cocaine hydrochloride] was seized,” Col. Paz said. “The drug was bound for one of their clandestine manufacturing sites; we are using intelligence to look for the exact place to be able to destroy that lab.”The vessel, with two crew members on board, carried 20 packages of cocaine, the Navy said. “On several occasions, we’ve seized boats carrying several kilograms, 300, 150 of coca base paste,” Col. Paz said.According to the Pacific Naval Force,  in operations carried out along the Pacific coast of Colombia from January 1 to September 29, the Navy destroyed 67 labs; seized 114,759 kg of cocaine, 33,020 kg of marijuana, and 269 long-barreled guns and handguns; and captured 138 people for narcotrafficking.last_img read more

An important branch of Croatian tourism on the verge of collapse: Occasional carriers on St. Mark’s Square

first_imgAfter numerous meetings and many letters, the Government and the relevant ministries do not want to help the sector of occasional passenger transport, so today they point out the problem to all MPs because this important branch of tourism is on the verge of collapse. They hope that someone still cares about 20 people who lose their jobs, and because of leasing promissory notes, many of them have no roof over their heads, point out the Association of Voices of Entrepreneurs. Urgent grant award from European Union funds,Continuation of measures for preservation of jobs (HRK 4.000,00 + contributions),Ensure a moratorium on leases and loans for a minimum of one year with adequate interest for a shorter period (current interest on deferred principal is currently 18-35%),Accelerated procedure for obtaining liquidity funds from HAMAG BICRO and HBOR.  Povremeni prijevoz predstavlja neizostavni segment turizma i povezan je uz  obrazovanje (organizirani školski izleti, ekskurzije i svakodnevni prijevoz učenika na nastavu), sport (prijevoz sportskih klubova i navijača) i kulturu (prijevoz KUD-ova, zborova, plesnih skupina i sl.). Ističemo kako je ovaj sektor sastavni dio Ministarstva mora, prometa i infrastrukture koji je do pandemije koronavirusa poslovao samostalno te održivo – bez ikakvih državnih subvencija. Važno je istaknuti da se sektor povremenog prijevoza putnika sastoji od 2.000 tvrtki s više od 20.000 zaposlenih i više tisuća vozila visoke turističke klase (autobusi, minibusevi i kombi vozila).  A proposal for a concrete solution with leasing companies was submitted to the Government and line ministries in July, but the UGP points out that they have received an answer that the Government and the competent ministries simply do not want to help. We remind you that the occasional transport sector has a 95-98% drop in revenues and they become illiquid with foreclosures waiting for them after the legal activation period that is just around the corner. Photo: Pexels.comcenter_img The Voice of Entrepreneurs Association and members of the Occasional Passenger Transport Initiative have been warning for months about the inadmissible attitude of leasing companies towards clients and the key problems faced by entrepreneurs engaged in occasional passenger transport. After meetings with the competent ministries, a multitude of letters, as well as the submission of the required documentation, which was supported by other professional groups, all agreements were suspended. Occasional carriers are left to perish. “Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, this sector created exclusively added value and significantly influenced the filling of the state budget. An urgent grant is now needed in amounts sufficient to cover all of the company’s costs by the start of the 2021 tourist season. We must point out that almost all EU member states in this sector have awarded grants that are sufficient to cover operating costs. We believe that these countries are behind their entrepreneurs, taxpayers and workers because they know that saving industries means a faster way out of any crisis. Croatia did not do that. And next tourist season, passengers will no longer have anyone to transport because this important tourist branch will fail by then!”States from UGP. UGP’s proposals were as follows: That is why the carriers are pointing out their problems to the MPs on St. Mark’s Square today, and they hope that someone still cares about 20 people who lose their jobs, and because of leasing promissory notes, many of them have no roof over their heads.last_img read more

Ninety Seconds: Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf’s Story

first_imgThe concept of athletes expressing political perspectives more generally has also been on the agenda in basketball specifically, with LeBron James being told by a Fox News host to ‘shut up and dribble’. Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum or your  personal views towards the divisive issues above, sports also have a universal and powerful ability to bring people together. We are going to look at a story from the 1990s that explored these same issues and resurfaced in popular discussion more recently. It begins with contentious political discourse and leads to the other side of the world, community and lifelong friendships.90 SecondsNational Anthems last about ninety seconds. Taken in isolation, such a small amount of time may seem trivial. But that was enough time to change Mahmoud Abdul Rauf’s life. His offensive stats were almost unheard of in college basketball, and something that new Atlanta Hawk and former Oklahoma Sooner Trae Young managed to emulate recently.In his first NBA years, though, Abdul Rauf’s mood at any particular time tended towards “annoyed”. He didn’t play as many minutes as he would have liked and he didn’t shoot well when he did play. The Nuggets are playing fast for that time period (99.8 possessions per game, third in the league – in 2018, they’d be dead last) but they fail to accommodate his style of play.Quoting Phil Jackson in 2016, who in some way triggered the Abdul Rauf conversations more recently, said he was “Steph Curry before Steph Curry”. Never seen anything like SCurry? Remind you of Chris Jackson/ Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, who had a short but brilliant run in NBA?— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) 28 February 2016A well-behaved playmaker didn’t dare to be such a volume shooter off the dribble, and much less from three point range, and yet he did. Even ten years later, Steve Nash didn’t grasp how valuable it could be to run the ball looking for individual offense and play the position that way. Speaking about his career retrospectively, Nash said “I wasn’t smart enough to see that maybe I should shoot 20 times a game”.Abdul Rauf’s beliefs dictated that his lifestyle was very different from many of his teammates. That number 1 he wore on his jersey told that very story: all by himself, against everyone else. You won’t find many stories about him partying into the early hours or spending much time in nightclubs for example. While traveling through the country with his Nuggets, Abdul Rauf instead chose to spend his time on the road by visiting low-income communities and praying at local mosques.Ramadan fasting challenged his already thin frame, seeing him slim down to just 145 lbs. In Denver they asked questions and they grumbled. Neither did they understand his muscular spasms, his tics, or his manias: all of them symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome. The condition had been a torment through his childhood before he received a late diagnosis and finally, some answers. To fight these symptoms as a player he had developed some coping strategies, like focusing on the perfect free throw shooting technique. Abdul Rauf boasts the second best all time (single season) free throw percentage (behind Calvin Murphy) when he shot .956 on 229 attempts in the 93-94 season.Shooting statistics from this time period often don’t compare to current players due to the ways in which the game has changed. For comparison though, Abdul Rauf for his career shot .905 from the free throw line. For comparison:Steph Curry – .904Steve Nash – .904Mark Price – .904Peja Stojakovic – .895Ray Allen – .894JJ Redick – .891Klay Thompson – .852In fact, the only reason Mahmoud Abdul Rauf does not appear as the all time leader in free throw percentage is due to his shortened NBA career. In order to qualify for the all time list he would need to have made 1200 attempts. He finished on 1161 attempts.The people around him saw his tourettes coping mechanisms like the obsessions of an alien. Then, suddenly, love blossomed. A 51 point career high against John Stockton’s Jazz in late 1995. A 39 point and 10 assist outing against Jason Kidd’s Mavericks. Two playoff runs, and the historical 1994 campaign where the Nuggets, owners of the last spot in the Western Conference, beat the odds and sent the Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp-led Seattle Supersonics packing. Those were the iconic Nuggets featuring Dikembe Mutombo, Brian Williams and Laphonso Ellis, clad in the navy jersey with golden numbers and logo – a fresh start after the (likewise remarkable) jerseys sporting the Mile High City’s skyline.After that March 10th discussed earlier however, there was no love lost for Abdul Rauf. A loophole and a compromise allowed him to listen to the anthem standing up, but with his chin facing down and his hands gathered in prayer. Denver didn’t like the continual political  discussion about it and they didn’t want him around by the end of the season, shipping him to Sacramento. Displaying what an issue the subject had become, four men stormed into a Denver mosque playing The star-spangled banner with their trumpets. Through Abdul Rauf’s actions, Islam more generally was being associated with ‘unpatriotic’ perspectives.Suiting up for the Kings, Abdul Rauf’s numbers went down and rookie Anthony Johnson surpassed him in playtime. He started to feel abandoned. “It was close to impossible to play in the U.S. after that. The doors were shut, but I said the NBA wasn’t the only show in town and I was going to make use of my God-given talent – even if it meant playing in Timbuktu”. Not Quite TimbuktuAbdul Rauf moved to play in Europe. Furthering his detachment from mainstream US society even further, came the tragic events of September 11th 2001. After this date, to be an American Muslim that criticized the USA and the government, was like walking around with a target drawn on his back. So Abdul Rauf was to stay in Europe. Every trip became a pilgrimage at heart, leading him closer to Mecca, which he finally visited while playing in Turkey, for Fenerbahce.For most professional basketball players, leaving the NBA means bidding farewell to a certain lifestyle, a job and a home that welcomed you. In Abdul Rauf’s case, it was arguably the first place he ever really called home. The place where he was born, in humble and humid Gulfport, Mississippi, was (quite literally) falling apart. While he was pondering whether to enroll for his third year at LSU or to declare for the NBA Draft, he climbed the stairs to the bathroom, opened the faucet and the sink came crashing down on his feet. He decided he would never walk through that door again before having earned enough money to give his family a better life.He built a new house outside town, but it was vandalized, then burned down. Hurricane Katrina also stormed through Gulfport, wreaking havoc. LSU’s campus was not always a happy space for Mahmoud either. The more he delved into the books and thoughts of Malcolm X, thanks to his coach Dale Brown and the history and civil rights classes he was taking, the more he became uncomfortable with being a student athlete. He didn’t like the dynamic of the University gaining money thanks to his athletic prowess, but him getting nothing (financially) in return.In Europe, the recent Abdul Rauf revival wasn’t as shocking as it was in the US. It’s no surprise to see him competing at fifty years old in the BIG 3 League, still in great shape and quick, because he played throughout Greece, Italy and Russia well into his forties, ending with a Japanese appearance for Kyoto Hannaryz. It’s perhaps also less of a surprise in Europe that the game has evolved in a direction he foresaw in the 90s. Maybe because Europe was detached from the associations that Abdul Rauf had in the US, clubs were able to value Abdul Rauf’s (at the time) peculiar approach to playmaking without the same controversy attached to him. In a less politically charged atmosphere, it was simply his play and not his beliefs that shaped the assessment of him as a basketball player. In just one Italian season, 2004/2005, Abdul Rauf left a lasting memory among Roseto’s fans. Abdul Rauf is still considered to this day one of the best foreign players to star in the Italian League.Roseto is a small town of 25,000 people, near Teramo by the Adriatic Sea, a community glued together by an enthralling passion for basketball: despite the limited market. The local team had successful campaigns both inside domestic borders and in international competitions. As a nod to his faith, he is affectionately known as  “Il Califfo” (the caliph) and the love is mutual. In 2015, ten years after he played there, Abdul Rauf was called back to Roseto by local authorities to perform a tour of schools, squares and gyms. A veritable celebration that made him spill a few tears and inspired some fresh thoughts on the strong bonds basketball can create. “I love this place dearly. When noone wanted to give me a chance anymore, Roseto was one on the few places that granted me one last shot. The town and the fans treated me like I was one of them. Since I left the town, there’s always someone in touch with me, asking me how my family is faring, how am I doing. I’ll always be thankful to this town, from the bottom of my heart. I’d gladly live here one day”. On the other side of the world, Mahmoud Abdul Rauf found a home.RetrospectiveQuestioned about today’s political scenario in sports and the role of athletes as spokespeople for a community, Abdul Rauf has mixed reactions. On the one side, he’s comforted by the example of other athletes showing up for the beliefs they stand for: their stances gain a resonance that was impossible to imagine in 1996, and obtain a rate of approval that was unavailable to him. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the political views of outspoken athletes like Abdul Rauf, his career in particular counterintuitively speaks to the ability of basketball to bring people together. The fact that even someone as controversial as he was considered in this time period was able to plant new roots, find a new home in a new culture and share some of his greatest professional memories demonstrates this point.The “Steph Curry before Steph Curry” as Phil Jackson immortalised him, both in style of play and through his overt political perspective predicted future trends. But he wasn’t stagnant as a person or in his views. From Abdul Rauf’s perspective, his journey has been one of striving to continually improve. “I strive to be the best person I can, the best human being, although I don’t know if I’ll ever get there. This is my battle. Being the best I can under many perspectives: intellectually, spiritually, morally, socially. I fight every day”.The National Anthem lasts just 90 seconds. That was enough to change Mahmoud Abdul Rauf’s life. He had the chance to meet with Colin Kaepernick and the conversation excited him. “There’s a verse in the Quran that says, ‘Be in the company of the righteous,’ Money doesn’t matter. Family doesn’t matter,” Abdul-Rauf said. “I don’t mean that in a bad way, but you get to the point the truth means more to you than anything. That’s powerful. It’s nice to be in the presence of people like that”. The National Anthem is a ritual that you’ll notice before international sporting competitions. It serves the purpose of stirring national pride in both the audience and the participants. Many countries, such as the US, also observe the practice before domestic sporting fixtures too.As a musical expression of national identity, many people will view the anthem as something that should always sit above political discourse and disagreement. Completely separate. The conversation around athletes’ conduct during the national anthem and how it relates to national and personal identity has been revisited recently around the figure of Colin Kaepernick. Mahmoud Abdul Rauf was originally given the name of Chris Jackson. But just like a politically-driven athlete before him (Muhammad Ali), in 1993 he chose to go by the name that he perceived God to have given him (Mahmoud Abdul Rauf). Abdul Rauf came to Islam through the writings of Malcolm X and his faith continued to shape his path both as a person and as a basketball player.In his own words, during those ninety seconds whilst the anthem played, Mahmoud claimed to feel like he was disrespecting his beliefs. Listening to the anthem with his back straight and his shoulders squared, while the star spangled banner was being lifted up and waved by a uniform-clad trooper. The flag is held as a symbol of freedom, but Abdul Rauf claimed that in certain other parts of the world, it represented something different. Abdul Rauf also began to question the strict wording that athletes should “stand and line up in a dignified posture” He thought this contradicted the very freedom that the lyrics spoke of.In 1994 Mahmoud Abdul Rauf began questioning the rule. He stayed in the locker room, entertaining himself, warming up or strolling along the sidelines. He hid himself from sight. That was until March 10th, when he decided to behave according to his beliefs and for everyone to see. He made his way to the hardwood earlier than usual and when the music started, he sat; the only one, ostensibly, among the 17,171 that packed McNichols Arena in Denver, Colorado that night.Ninety seconds, and the elephant in the room had emerged from its hiding spot. For both the media and the audience, all hell broke loose.“My duty is to my creator, not to nationalistic ideology”, he said.“In Greece they’d stone him”, one newspaper replies.“One cannot be for God and also be for oppression”, he argued back.Looking retrospectively, Abdul Rauf explained his decision.That was a gradual process. It came through my reading. I began to read more, I began to think about issues more. And the more I read and the more I thought, I said… Why am I doing this? I don’t want to be like some type of robot, just doing things because other people are doing it. I began to question, why am I doing what I do? Do I believe that this is the right thing to do? So I came to this decision. I said, “No.”“Go back to Africa”, read one of the many letters sent to his home address. “I am glad that you finally decided to stand for the national anthem because you have a lot of young children looking up to you, wanting to be like you. You would have probably ruined their future because they would have grown up and disrespected our country like you did”.With less polished prose, someone simply slams a “F*** you, Mahmoud”. He keeps those letters to this very day, stored in a trash bag, and sometimes he pulls them out to read them once again. The hate still hurts, but it reminds him of the reasons behind his choice.Ninety seconds to change a life. A one-game suspension, to go along with the fine he received, was no big deal in comparison to the accusations and stigma that eventually pushed him out of the league.Abdul Rauf the PlayerMahmoud Abdul Rauf was a restless prodigy, walking the thin line between love and hate wherever he played. This was partially because his style of play was twenty years ahead of its time and many struggled to decipher it. Denver welcomed him warmly in the 1990 NBA Draft, trading All Star Fat Lever in order to select him. His two-year stint at LSU had been an absolute blast, playing alongside the irrepressible Shaquille O’Neal. Jackson (as he was known then) had a 48 point outburst in just his second game with the Tigers, a feat that earned comparisons to the great Pistol Pete Maravich.last_img read more

You don’t pass up on Banchero—Victolero

first_imgDrilon apologizes to BCDA’s Dizon over false claim on designer of P50-M ‘kaldero’ Victolero said having so many talented backcourt men is a problem he has no qualms having.Banchero was hands-down, the best guard at Alaska for the better part of the last two seasons, and his arrival at Magnolia just hiked the Hotshots’ guard tally.Victolero already has Jio Jalalon, Marc Barroca and Paul Lee and it won’t be a surprise if Banchero gets to play the off-guard spot more often.“It’s a good problem for us that we have another guard who plays multiple positions,” Victolero said.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? Gan, Lacambra share karting honors What’s behind the display of Chinese flag in Boracay? View comments Someone from the Philippines could win a $208 million jackpot this week! Priority legislation in the 18th Congress Duterte officials’ paranoia is ‘singularly myopic’center_img Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Group urges Senate to pass bill on liquor, vape tax hike before yearend PLAY LIST 01:24Group urges Senate to pass bill on liquor, vape tax hike before yearend00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics Magnolia coach Chito Victolero stressed that adding another high-IQ guard in Chris Banchero to his sentinel-laden crew is not the Hotshots’ way of pushing the panic button in arresting an inconsistent performance in the eliminations of the PBA Governors’ Cup.It also is not a sure-fire way for his Hotshots to retain the championship.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Rice industry paralysis “Actually, it was an offer that cropped up—one that I didn’t want to pass up on,” Victolero told a few reporters after the team’s practice Monday afternoon at Ronac Art Center in Ortigas.Magnolia is currently at sixth spot and would need to string up wins in order to make the top four and earn a twice-to-beat edge in the first round of the playoffs.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40SPORTSSan Miguel suspends Santos, Nabong, Tubid indefinitely after ‘tussle’ in practice“It wasn’t truly a need,” Victolero explained. “We felt he (Banchero) could be of big help to us. It was just an opportunity I feel I’d regret if I didn’t take.”“He wanted some of my players whom I am have not been able to maximize,” Victolero, referring to Alaska coach Jeffrey Cariaso, who wanted Robbie Herndon and Rodney Brondial.last_img read more