City bill would force general contractors to get licensed

first_img Share via Shortlink Full Name* Message* Bill de BlasioBuilding Construction Trades Council of Greater New Yorkbuilding trades employers associationcity councilConstructionlou colettisafety inspections Building Trades Employers’ Association CEO Louis Coletti and City Planning Commissioner Chair Marisa Lago (iStock)Construction companies may soon face additional hurdles to work in the city.A new City Council bill would create a new licensing program for all general contractors, shifting away from a system that only requires them to register with the Department of Buildings.To obtain a license, contractors would need to submit the same information needed for registration — including the names of major owners of the company, and proof that the firm is financially solvent and in “good standing” — but would also be required to demonstrate safety training and industry experience.The new requirements would include 62 hours of training for applicants to receive a “Site Safety Training Supervisor Card.” Applicants would also need either a bachelor’s degree in construction management or related field; at least five years of experience in the industry; or they must be a licensed engineer or architect.Under the proposed rules, the general contracting company would need to have one designee — an officer, member or shareholder who owns at least 10 percent of the firm — who files building permits on the general contractor’s behalf. Crucially, the designee is considered responsible for all work performed by the general contractor and by the subcontractors it hires.Public Advocate Jumaane Williams is listed as the bill’s sponsor, but the de Blasio administration requested that it be introduced. It has the backing of some construction labor groups but is already facing opposition from contractors.Louis Coletti, CEO and president of the Building Trades Employers’ Association, which represents general contractors, called the measure a “shortcut” that seeks to hold one person or company responsible for an injury or fatality on a site.He said the city should take a more targeted approach by focusing on companies and types of projects that have proven hazardous over the years, which he identified as largely nonunion and small-scale buildings.“The approach they have taken is one-size-fits-all,” he said. “That proposal would limit all general contractors, irrespective of the size of the project.”If the bill passes, companies that have active general contractor and safety registrations will automatically be considered licensed, but only until their current registration expires. Such terms, as with the proposed licenses, last three years. After that, the companies would need to apply for renewal.Another provision in the measure seeks to address a perennial problem: construction companies that are disciplined or otherwise identified as bad actors only to come back under a new name or brand. The bill bars general contractors from changing a name, business structure or point of contact without first notifying the department.In a statement, Gary LaBarbera, who heads the state and city chapters of the Building and Construction Trades Council, called the measure, along with other construction safety bills introduced on Thursday, “encouraging.”Brian Sampson, president of the state’s chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors, a nonunion construction group, commended the city for continuing its commitment to “the highest standards for licensed professionals and safety practices in the construction industry.”The bill also requires general contractors to provide a plan for reducing the rate of hazardous violations on a site, upon request from the Department of Buildings.If approved, the new rules would kick in three years after the measure becomes law. It’s the latest effort by the de Blasio administration to ramp up safety on construction sites. A 2017 law mandated that construction workers undergo 40 hours of safety training. The deadline for meeting that requirement was in March.Contact Kathryn Brenzelcenter_img Email Address* Tags Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlinklast_img read more

RSL Hosts Sporting KC In US Open Cup Match

first_imgJune 6, 2018 /Sports News – Local RSL Hosts Sporting KC In US Open Cup Match FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmail(Sandy, UT)  —  Real Salt Lake hosts Sporting Kansas City in a United States Open Cup match tonight at Rio Tinto Stadium.The winner will move on to the Round of 16.  Match time is set for 7:00 p.m.RSL will resume MLS play on Saturday when it visits the L.A. Galaxy.  Salt Lake is third in the Western Conference with 22 points. Written by Tags: MLS/Real Salt Lake/Soccer/United States Open Cup Robert Lovelllast_img

Bakers prepare for Real Bread Week 2021

first_imgHen Corner – the ‘urban smallholding’ and micro bakery is offering online classes such as How To Make Bread (22 February) and Micro Bakery (26 February). For every bakery order and class booking in the week, founder Sara Ward will bake an extra loaf for food bank Hounslow Community FoodBoxMa Baker – for every loaf bought, owner Liz Wilson will bake loaves for Hammersmith & Fulham Foodbank on 26 FebruaryScotland The Bread – people are invited to buy Solidarity Bags of heritage wheat flour, which will be sent to bakeries and community organisations for locals to bake withToast Ale x Hobbs House Bakery – to mark Real Bread Week, the brewery has collaborated with Hobbs House Bakery to launch Wheat Beer on 25 February. Brewed using surplus organic loaves, it will be the first beer to carry the Real Bread Loaf mark. It is also part of Toast Ale’s Rise Up campaign with fellow B corporationsVirtuous Bread – the social enterprise is hosting a free Zoom bake along on 21 and 28 February.Those involved are encouraged to interact on social media using the hashtag #RealBreadWeek.“We’re working towards a future in which everyone has the chance to choose Real Bread, whether skilfully crafted by a local baker or lovingly made at home,” said Real Bread Campaign co-ordinator Chris Young.People can choose from over 1,000 bakeries on the Real Bread Map via the Sustain website and are encouraged to share #WeAreRealBread selfies on social media. Last year saw more than 2,000 posts from at least 37 countries, it added. Source: Getty ImagesBakers across the globe are gearing up to showcase additive-free loaves as Real Bread Week, organised by the Real Bread Campaign, kicks off. Running from 20 to 28 February, the 2021 celebration comes after a surge in making and buying bread, as well as micro-bakery start-ups.Covid-19 meant that bonds between bakers and their neighbours were strengthened, and independent bakeries were reinforced as the hearts of local communities, the campaign said.Bakeries, schools and mills are among those taking part. Here are some highlights:last_img read more

Brain-training app creators join in the genetics game

first_imgProducers of the popular online brain-training program Lumosity will collaborate with Harvard researchers to investigate the relationship between genetics and memory, attention, and reaction speed.Scientists at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the Harvard Medical School Personal Genome Project (PGP) announced today a new collaboration with Lumos Labs that will leverage the unique resources and expertise of each.PGP-Lumosity Memory Study <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQOIIAYAW5A” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/vQOIIAYAW5A/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a> Wyss scientists plan to recruit 10,000 members from the PGP, which started in 2005 in the laboratory of George Church, a founding core faculty member of the Wyss Institute and a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School (HMS). PGP participants make their genome sequences, biospecimens, and health care data publicly available for unrestricted research on genetic and environmental relationships to disease and wellness. The Wyss researchers will use a set of cognitive tests from Lumos Labs’ NeuroCognitive Performance Test, a brief, repeatable, online assessment to evaluate participants’ memory functions, including object recall, object pattern memorization, and response times.Church’s team and HMS postdoctoral fellows Elaine Lim and Rigel Chan will correlate extremely high performance scores with naturally occurring variations in the participants’ genomes. “Our goal is to get people who have remarkable memory traits and engage them in the PGP. If you are exceptional in any way, you should share it, not hoard it,” Church said.To validate their findings, the team will sequence, edit, and visualize DNA, model neuronal development in 3-D brain organoids ex vivo, and finally test emerging hypotheses in experimental models of neurodegeneration.“The Wyss Institute’s extraordinary scientific program and the Personal Genome Project’s commitment to research that is both pioneering and responsible make them ideal collaborators,” said Bob Schafer, director of research at Lumos Labs. “Combining Lumosity’s potential as a research tool could help us learn more about how our online assessment can help power innovative, large-scale studies.”Church, Lim, and Chan plan to begin recruitment for the study this month.The PGP-Lumosity memory project is the latest in a long line of research collaborations supported by each platform. Through their Human Cognition Project, Lumos Labs is currently working with independent researchers at more than 60 different institutions on a range of topics, including normal aging, some clinical conditions, and the relationship between exercise and Lumosity training. PGP participants can take part in stem cell banking with the New York Stem Cell Foundation, “Go Viral” real-time cold and flu surveillance, the biology of circles with Harvard Medical School, the genetics of perfect pitch with the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, characterizing the human microbiome in collaboration with American Gut, and discounted whole genome sequencing strategies.Wyss Institute Director Donald Ingber, who is also the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at HMS and Boston Children’s Hospital, and professor of bioengineering at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, said the current project has the potential to open up “groundbreaking technologies developed at the Wyss Institute to explore the relationship between genetics and memory with possible implications for Alzheimer’s and other diseases.”For more information or to register for the study, please visit https://wyss.harvard.edu/pgp-lumosity.last_img read more

Spring Sting

first_imgPeople flock outdoors in the spring to plant gardens, clean up, grill out or just spend time with friends. All are prime times and places for insect attacks, says a University of Georgia bug expert. “Insect encounters don’t usually result in human injury, and most insects should be left alone,” said Elmer Gray, a UGA Cooperative Extension entomologist. “Eliminating areas where insects develop and hide near your home and properly applying pesticides if necessary will keep most stinging and biting pests away.”That stings!Social insects, such as bees, wasps, hornets and ants, develop colonies, which could house as few as a dozen to thousands of individuals. “The social bees, wasps and hornets are a greater stinging threat than the solitary pests because they will attack in large numbers if they perceive the nest is in danger,” he said.Gray said while most individuals are non-aggressive, all can sting if disturbed or handled.Bees, wasps, hornets, fire ants and scorpions inject venom from the tip of their abdomen. For most people, a single sting will cause pain, swelling and stiffness of the joint, which can last a few minutes or for one or more days. However, some people can develop more dramatic reactions where swelling may involve an entire arm or leg, last several days or require hospital treatment.Because of the benefits social insects have on the environment, such as pollination and preying on pest insects, most should not be controlled unless they create a hazard to humans. If you find a nest around your home, Gray said to apply an insecticide in the evening when the insects are at rest. “With the wind at your back and an escape route selected, aim the insecticide at nest openings in trees, bushes, under eaves, ground cracks and crevices in and around nest openings,” he said. “If possible, destroy the nest or seal the nest opening. Honey bees nesting in buildings will require professional hive removal.” Treat fire ant mounds right after rain. “Gently pour an insecticidal drench over a mound so that the mixture will break the surface. Do not stir the mound,” he said. “Use 1 to 2 gallons for an average (12- to 14-inch diameter) mound. Granular and bait formulations are also available.”Shoo Fly!Some think house flies are gross. But, their winged cousins like deer flies, horse flies, black flies and biting midges are more than annoying. They bite.“Deer and horse flies are strong fliers and a serious nuisance of warm-blooded animals and people,” Gray said. “The puncture from the large bladelike mouth parts and the saliva used in feeding can cause pain, swelling and itching.”Biting midges, also called no-se-ums, punkies or sand flies, are very small. Some are small enough to fit through screens. Often their bite is felt, and they are not even seen. Welts and lesions from the bite may last for days. Biting midges are more of a problem around creek beds and swamps, Gray said. The larvae breed in damp or wet soils. Homeowners in residential areas without water present are less likely to be bitten. Black flies, or buffalo gnats, develop in fast-flowing sections of rivers and streams. They are most prevalent in the piedmont and mountainous areas. The saliva they inject while feeding causes swelling and soreness. Female flies use mouthparts to painfully puncture the skin and dine on a blood meal. Because of the widespread breeding sites and long flight range of biting midges and black flies, homeowner control is not always practical, he said. “The most effective way to control exposure to flies is to treat skin with repellent,” Gray said. He said to look for a repellent containing DEET. “Concentrations of DEET up to 30 percent are approved for use on children and infants older than two months of age,” Gray said. “Concentrations of 10 percent will typically be sufficient to protect children under most circumstances unless extreme pest populations are encountered.”The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has approved picaridin, oil of lemon, eucalyptus and IR3535 as alternatives to DEET, but they are not approved for children under three. Clothing can be treated with permethrin, found in Permanone, to deter fly bites. Remember, too, that light-colored clothing may be less attractive than dark clothing to most biting insects.last_img read more

Nature Deficit Disorder

first_imgIt’s been 10 years since author Richard Louv coined the term “nature deficit disorder” to describe children who are developmentally behind because they spend so much time inside. In the decade since Louv’s book, “Last Child in the Woods,” was published, parents seem to have become more aware of the amount of time their children spend inside with gadgets. However, it also seems that kids’ attachment to their devices has grown stronger, said Nick Fuhrman, an outdoor educator and professor of environmental education in the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Known to many as “Ranger Nick,” Fuhrman agrees that nature deficit disorder is a growing problem for young kids and young adults. Even students in classes focused on wildlife education can’t seem to deny the draw of constantly checking their phones, always looking down, and being completely removed from listening to and looking at their environment. “I am worried that, eventually, people are not going to see the value of being outside,” Fuhrman said. “Awareness is OK, but we have to get to action, which will eventually lead to a sustained behavior change. That is the ultimate goal of environmental education.”More kids have access to smartphones. Fuhrman believes that the best approach to remedying nature deficit disorder is not to remove the technology, but to use it as a gateway to the outdoors.Several apps, like iNaturalist, which Furhman recommends, enable parents and children to become citizen scientists. Through their phones, they can observe and photograph unique plants, animals and other organisms, then share them with a network of other peers as well as research teams. These apps can help identify unknown creatures and help users learn about nature.Fuhrman also added that the biggest benefit to using the smartphone to connect with nature is that it helps the parents to be more comfortable with the scenario as well. “Parents have to set the model for their children,” he said. “This helps them to be outside with a meaningful purpose.”To that end, the U.S. Forest Service launched a web campaign at www.discovertheforest.org that provides parents with practical tips for introducing their children to the woods, including lots of mobile-optimized games and activities for families with young children to help them make the leap outside.Eventually, Fuhrman hopes that individuals will ease out of depending on their phones for entertainment and start leaving them in their pockets or even at home when they are outdoors.For more on Fuhrman and his Friday Fly-day live series, follow Ranger Nick on Facebook. To see the entire Ranger Nick video series originally aired on the “Georgia Farm Monitor” TV show, please visit www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE2nUQSFKhZh4QpKhjBLzvJFvCBiJ8AwI.last_img read more

Sovernet announces network infrastructure and equipment upgrades

first_imgSovernet Communications, a leading provider of telecommunication services in Northern New England, announced several network infrastructure and equipment upgrades designed to better serve their customers.  The changes will enhance both reliability and operational efficiencies, as well as bring new next-generation services to additional markets.“As part of our continuing commitment to add functionality, redundancy, and capacity to our network , we are pleased to announce the addition of  Barre, Middlebury, and Stowe to our fiber network, with speeds to OC 48.  In addition, our Essex Junction facility has been upgraded to a fully redundant OC 192 node, to meet the capacity needs of our growing customer base, ” says Rich Kendall, Sovernet’s President.  Additionally, Sovernet has also made an infrastructure investment in the Rutland market,  with the deployment of next-gen Adtran gear, enabling delivery of the latest service advancements including symmetric, enterprise level, broadband at DS3 speeds for a fraction of typical DS3 cost.About Sovernet Communications: Celebrating its 15th birthday, Sovernet Communications provides reliable Internet and telecommunication services to residential and business customers throughout Northern New England. The Vermont company is headquartered in Bellows Falls, with facilities in Burlington and Winooski. Sovernet is committed to delivering superior customer care and total customer satisfaction, while actively supporting its local communities.  For more information, please visit www.sover.net(link is external) .Source: BELLOWS FALLS, VT. (March 8, 2010) — Sovernet Communicationslast_img read more

Twenty Years After Operation Colombia Against Casa Verde

first_imgBy Dialogo December 23, 2010 Outstanding writing. It is something that is a part of the history of the Colombian Army in the fight against nacro-terrorism, and it is yet another piece of evidence that the war against the Farc criminals did not begin during the Uribe era as they have wanted to tell us, but it has always been there. The Colombian forces are the best I Latin America for a reason. I knew many officials and sub-official that participated in the Colombian Operation against Farc in Casa Verde. What is written here is very accurate and gives you a very complete idea as to how things happened. Colonel Villamarin could write a spectacular book regarding this topic. I have read all of the books written by Colonel Villamarin, they are excellent. To all of the readers of this magazine I recommend they read both editions of El Cartel de las Farc (The Farc Cartel), la Selva Roja (the Red Jungle), Narcoterrorismo la guerra del nuevo siglo(Narcoterrorism, the war of the new century), Conexión al Qaeda (Al Qaeda Connection), Operación Jaque (Operation Checkmate), La Silla Vacía (The Empty Chair), El Eln por dentro(the ELN from within), Drama-Pesadilla y Espectáculo (Drama-Nightmare and Spectacle), and Complot contra Colombia (Complot versus Colombia). They are works filled with literary vitality and very serious content to analyze and it describes the chronic war communistic terrorism against Colombian society. The strategy for Operation Colombia was quietly designed by the officials of the armed and aerial forces to forcibly occupy the areas of the zone. The operation was postponed because there was no political backing to allow the army to occupy Casa Verde as this site afforded logistical and military support to the 15 FARC frontlines in the eastern plains. The halt sent advice to the government and obtained authorization to occupy Casa Verde. When the patrols arrived at the abandoned apartments, not a single rebel leader was captured as they had escaped in time and had left a rearguard of its special forces which confronted the army and took down 24 and brought down a helicopter. FARC had been alerted and this impeded complete success of the operation. The response by FARC for the capture of Casa Verde was violent: In one month they murdered 64 soldiers and police, they destroyed the oil line Limon Pipeline and many bridges. Behind the subversive attack, there was a seed of possible dialogue planted with the spokesperson of the Simon Bolivar force coordinator in Caracas, Venezuela where it was impossible to come to an agreement. The story of Col. Villamarin is successful and talks about the accounts in a clear manner with his witty writer’s pen and operations specialist of counter-guerrillas, military intelligence, combining the arms race and writing. Miami, Dec. 24, 2010 CP)r.) Guillermo Vanegas Of course without acknowledging the bravery and the efforts made by the soldiers in that Operation Colombia and the knowledge about future deeds, I ask myself how would Colombia have been if in reality all of those wrongfully named Colombian fighters had been captured or killed in that big battle, of course there had to be some miserable infiltrator that alert about possible scrimmages and that is seen even today, twenty years later. It is good for us private citizens to know about operations and plans but I always say it is the means of communication and the lack of control of the superiors in the military forces, who ruin everything, there needs to be a major vigilance and discipline in order to avoid these things from happening. Even still, I say it is our forces through their great effort and sacrifice to protect our country and our citizenry. I wrote a comment about the excellent article by Colonel Villamarin, after 20 years since Operation Colombia, I am very surprised to find out that it wasn’t published, the Comments are very important, the articles are assessed, you need to pay closer attention to the comments, all of the magazines nowadays have a comments page, this helps you to know the quality and quantity of readers. Attention editors and managers of the magazine, this is an oversight that should not exist in a military magazine! It is sad to see how the military is degraded by the chiefs of State and the general population, if they are the heroes of the country who have achieved and allow all to enjoy in the security of the country, but it is absurd to have troops subjected to continuous battles without winning the war, due to the interests of many that need to have continuous warfare, without caring if many innocent military lose their heads while they fight to keep order in the country. Now, in this case it is obvious to see the infiltration by freedom fighters in the government and from there the strategy for the plan of action for much of the urban and rural population in order to obtain their misdeeds as they have the majority of the population which many times is ignorant about the mundane and literacy and as such it is easy to fall into fundamentally poor political ideologies. Now bringing up said argument is the case of Santo Domingo where they accuse the Colombian Army of looting homes and public establishments and launching a bomb at the civil population, how is it possible for those of this jurisdiction to know for certain that is was the military troops that looted when it’s human nature to save their lives, and moreover in the midst of fire and fighting. And who can say for certain that the people that were killed by the bomb (the majority of which were children) weren’t freedom fighters, when we know that they recruit minors in their ranks, and many are their shields and many of us know that the cannon fodder in the middle combat, it is very difficult to know with the hypotheses from the human rights organizations’ requests when the world is full corrupt and bought-off witnesses in favor of the armed forces and not for those responsible. Everything that helps to reveal FARC and its accomplices is positive and welcome. Even though it was one of the operations that broke the myth that the guerrilla force could not be attacked in its hideouts and more so in this one, which was the most important hideout, those of us heroes who participated in this complex operation have been forgotten, my name is Juan Carlos Moreno during that time period I participated as a volunteer soldier in the exclusive battalion of counter-guerrilla forces No. 07 HEROES DE ARAUCA. Our direct target was Casa Verde or the cadre school. I only hope that a small acknowledgment is made to the relatives of those who were wounded and those who died in this operation, today I am a non-commissioned officer in retirement with the rank of sergeant from the first extraordinary class of lance corporals. Colonel: Today’s post should be read in schools and universities in order to prevent many dupes that fall into disinformation generated by farc press offices. Plus, the information from the computers of Reyes is generating in Europe an understanding of the defamation of the Colombian Government carried out by these offices. Yesterday, El País ran a feature story called *Eta’s embassies * arc where it is revealed that, just like the the farc embassies,eta has a network of offices and NGO’s that attack the Spanish Government saying that human rights have not been respected every time a blow is given to the terrorist group. The people here are beginning to understand the similarities and they can see their internal communications (e.g. the plot to blame the Government for the murder of 11 representatives). This is generating an empathy with the democratically elected Government that had not never been seen before. today we see with great surprise that nobody wants to know anything; the small-minded newspapers are not even trying to highlight the courage of these true heroes of the country. This writing is notable and very true. I live in Rego Park, New York. I am a Colombian architect and I have resent it to all my contacts, even in other countries so they can read it, be informed and broadcast to the world the reality of the evil those communists are causing us with and without weapons. On 9 December 1990, troops of the Seventh Brigade of the Colombian Army, commanded by Gen. Luis Humberto Correa, carried out the first great air and land operation against a narco-terrorist complex that served as the headquarters of the FARC Secretariat, known by the mythic name Casa Verde [Green House], in the Uribe-Meta rural area, in the southeastern foothills of the Páramo del Sumapaz. In the words of Jacobo Arenas, the terrorist group’s founding ideologue, “Casa Verde was the symbol of the construction of a revolutionary movement providing guidance to communist guerrillas, as a stimulus to subversion in order to take power.” Striking the FARC Secretariat at its headquarters was a matter of the greatest strategic importance for the National Army and of particular political significance for the country. In accordance with this line of thought, Operation Colombia was planned in detail, on the basis of testimony from FARC deserters, aerial photographs taken by the Air Force, meteorological analysis, and the selection of assault troops, land blockades, aerial tactical fire, and maneuvers directed at concrete objectives. The air and land assault, following aerial tactical fire aimed at softening up the enemy’s position, was led by the Special Forces. The commandos descended on the chief objectives: Tirofijo’s house, Jacobo’s house, the lecture halls, the Cadre School, and the logistical stores. The valor and gallantry of the Colombian soldiers were put to the test in this phase of combat, since they waged the most dramatic part of the battle against the detachments left in contact by the guerrilla chiefs, who, alerted by agents infiltrated into the national government, had warned them of Operation Colombia’s imminence. Over the course of thirty years, the communist guerrillas of Juan de la Cruz Varela and then Tirofijo’s FARC had constructed an intricate system of trenches, observation posts, deployment points, and anti-aircraft machine gun and mortar nests, which naturally slowed the advance of the first wave of assault troops and made it necessary to request additional aerial support. Once the fierce communist resistance of the first phase of the attack had been overcome, more infantry soldiers descended on predetermined secondary objectives and destroyed other components of the subversive complex hidden in the folds of the eastern mountain range, in sites of difficult access protected by sharpshooters. The armed encounters and skirmishes lasted for fifteen days, until with very few casualties, whether dead, wounded, or evacuated for other reasons, the troops took complete control of the area. In addition to capturing and killing or wounding a number of terrorists, the troops seized abundant war matériel, headquarters communications, and copious documents of high value for Colombian military intelligence and law enforcement. Once an inventory of the finds had been made, the documents seized by the troops revealed the majority of the FARC’s secrets at the time, summarized in guerrilla lectures, plenums, assistantship meetings, the terrorist group’s programmatic documents, and its strategic plan. On the basis of the information obtained, the National Army realized the strategic importance of the Páramo del Sumapaz, and the departments of Meta, Guaviare, and Caquetá in the FARC’s thrust toward the capital of the republic, as well as the FARC’s growing financial dependence on drug trafficking. As a result of these conclusions, the National Army created the first two mobile brigades with jurisdiction throughout the national territory, staffed by officers and non-commissioned officers with experience in rural counterterrorism operations, in order to engage in operations involving objectives of high strategic value related to narco-terrorism. Also, the institutions of the Colombian state refocused the search for intelligence on the FARC’s urban and rural structures, acquired experience in deciphering messages encoded using numeric systems and alphanumeric keys previously unknown, different from those traditionally used by the ELN, generally using previously agreed pages of books, magazines, or other documents, or written with invisible ink on sheets of blank paper. Specialists in technical intelligence acquired firsthand knowledge of tricks involving changing channels of communication, altering frequencies, flexible schedules, sending false counterintelligence messages, and internal radio communication systems used by the Secretariat and each platoon throughout the national territory. The rural combat units learned more details about the logistical procedures, the systems of porters and the peasant liaisons for supplying the platoons in the areas of operations. As a consequence, the pressure against the fronts in each region increased. The Colombian Army’s psychological operations units showed the importance of rapprochement with the civilian population, called “political education of the peasant base” by the terrorists, since it was the root of the structural strength of the Clandestine Communist Party and the Bolivarian militias integrated into its strategic plan. In synthesis, Operation Colombia against the FARC Secretariat at Casa Verde was a watershed in the history of the war against communist terrorism in Colombia and resulted in significant strategic lessons about the use of special forces, field artillery, combat engineers, helicopter-borne operations, aerial tactical fire, combat intelligence, technical intelligence, document analysis, and psychological and logistical action in irregular operations. The ongoing presence of Gen. Correa at the head of the troops in the combat area elevated the soldiers’ morale and their desire to fight and increased the efficiency of the frontline units. The complete logistical support from Bogotá by Gen. Manuel Murillo, the commander of the Army, reinforced the action and forced the FARC to abort the plans they had been secretly preparing at Casa Verde for the launch of a final offensive against Bogotá. This and much more was the fruit of the military incursion against the FARC’s chief stronghold on 9 December 1990.last_img read more

Operation Unlimited Security Improves Public Safety in Brazil’s Eastern Amazon Region

first_imgDuring the initiative, police officers obtained more than 20 arrest warrants, captured 10 people suspected of various offenses, and seized drugs and firearms. In Para, naval patrol forces boarded and inspected 179 boats. Brazilian law enforcement and naval authorities effectively cracked down on organized crime in the eastern Amazon region in November through Operation Unlimited Security. Brazilian law enforcement and naval authorities effectively cracked down on organized crime in the eastern Amazon region in November through Operation Unlimited Security. “Under GDM’s coordination, operational planning and strategies were discussed starting in July by the Mid-North Public Safety Council (COMEN), currently chaired by the Amapa Secretary of Justice and Public Safety, Nixon Kennedy Monteiro,” said Farias. The operation was planned months in advance. Between November 10 and 16, more than 1,000 federal and state police agents patrolled six municipalities and one archipelago in the region. While police provided additional security on land, 23 ships from the Brazilian Navy patrolled the waters of the Amazon, looking for suspicious vessels. Organized crime groups sometimes use boats and semi-submersibles to transport drugs, guns, ammunition, and other illegal items. The operation was planned months in advance. “Under GDM’s coordination, operational planning and strategies were discussed starting in July by the Mid-North Public Safety Council (COMEN), currently chaired by the Amapa Secretary of Justice and Public Safety, Nixon Kennedy Monteiro,” said Farias. “It is certainly the largest operation ever conducted in the eastern Amazon or anywhere in the Amazon and was not limited to police action,” said Antônio Cláudio Farias from the Special Diagnostics and Monitoring Group (GDM) with the state of Para Secretariat for Public Safety (Segup). “Activities were structured to contain schedules and daily tasks to facilitate the execution, coordination, and control of actions to be carried out.” A ‘bold’ operation Security forces flooded the region to combat a wide array of organized crime enterprises; in addition to trafficking drugs and weapons, criminal groups in the area engage in human trafficking, illegal logging, robbery, and extortion. Meanwhile, as part of the operation, social service officials provided assistance to the civilian population by providing 391 medical examinations and dental care to 192 people. Social service workers also distributed more than 13,000 medications and arranged for 469 medical procedures. Their efforts weren’t limited to patrols. As part of the initiative, officials with the Amazon Protection System’s Operational and Management Center (Censipam) built fixed bases in Afua, Almerim, Belem, and Macapa, to allow managers to monitor operational data in real time. The bases also allowed police authorities and naval officials to communicate via videoconference. “It is certainly the largest operation ever conducted in the eastern Amazon or anywhere in the Amazon and was not limited to police action,” said Antônio Cláudio Farias from the Special Diagnostics and Monitoring Group (GDM) with the state of Para Secretariat for Public Safety (Segup). “Activities were structured to contain schedules and daily tasks to facilitate the execution, coordination, and control of actions to be carried out.” “This was a mega-operation and a bold proposal for the states of Para and Amapa to strengthen public safety activities in an area of 50,000 square kilometers,” said Monteiro. “As of now, we can repeat this kind of activity at least once a year, as well as create smaller operations due to interaction between the two states thanks to these activities.” center_img Their efforts weren’t limited to patrols. As part of the initiative, officials with the Amazon Protection System’s Operational and Management Center (Censipam) built fixed bases in Afua, Almerim, Belem, and Macapa, to allow managers to monitor operational data in real time. The bases also allowed police authorities and naval officials to communicate via videoconference. “This was a mega-operation and a bold proposal for the states of Para and Amapa to strengthen public safety activities in an area of 50,000 square kilometers,” said Monteiro. “As of now, we can repeat this kind of activity at least once a year, as well as create smaller operations due to interaction between the two states thanks to these activities.” Security forces flooded the region to combat a wide array of organized crime enterprises; in addition to trafficking drugs and weapons, criminal groups in the area engage in human trafficking, illegal logging, robbery, and extortion. The security initiative was so successful that law enforcement officials plan on repeating it and conducting similar operations. By Dialogo December 03, 2014 Meanwhile, as part of the operation, social service officials provided assistance to the civilian population by providing 391 medical examinations and dental care to 192 people. Social service workers also distributed more than 13,000 medications and arranged for 469 medical procedures. Federal and state police officials and naval authorities held four large planning meetings. The authorities decided to launch the security operation in the municipalities of Almerim, in the Monte Dourado district; Afua and Chaves in Para state; and Laranjal do Jari, Macapa, Vitoria do Jari, and the Bailique Archipelago in Amapa state. A ‘bold’ operation During the initiative, police officers obtained more than 20 arrest warrants, captured 10 people suspected of various offenses, and seized drugs and firearms. In Para, naval patrol forces boarded and inspected 179 boats. Federal and state police officials and naval authorities held four large planning meetings. The authorities decided to launch the security operation in the municipalities of Almerim, in the Monte Dourado district; Afua and Chaves in Para state; and Laranjal do Jari, Macapa, Vitoria do Jari, and the Bailique Archipelago in Amapa state. Between November 10 and 16, more than 1,000 federal and state police agents patrolled six municipalities and one archipelago in the region. While police provided additional security on land, 23 ships from the Brazilian Navy patrolled the waters of the Amazon, looking for suspicious vessels. Organized crime groups sometimes use boats and semi-submersibles to transport drugs, guns, ammunition, and other illegal items. The security initiative was so successful that law enforcement officials plan on repeating it and conducting similar operations. I am very concerned with the deforestation of the Amazon because it is causing a monumental drought in the southeast, and the hydropower plants are not functioning because of lack of water. I am appealing to you to accept this saving mission on Brazilian territory.last_img read more

Trump recalls EU ambassador who testified at his impeachment: US media

first_imgVindman was escorted out of the White House, with his lawyer calling the move an act of revenge by the president.”Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth,” lawyer David Pressman said.Hours earlier, Trump had said he wanted Vindman gone.”I’m not happy with him,” Trump, who was acquitted by the Senate on Wednesday of charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, told reporters.”You think I’m supposed to be happy with him?” Trump said. “I’m not.”Vindman, who served as director of European affairs on the National Security Council, was present during the July 25 phone call during which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open an investigation into his political rival Joe Biden.Sondland had testified that Trump sought a quid pro quo from Ukraine, the intended recipient of nearly $400 million in military assistance that the White House had put on hold.Topics : President Donald Trump on Friday dismissed a second government official who had testified in his impeachment probe, recalling ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, US media reported.”I was advised today that the president intends to recall me effective immediately as United States Ambassador to the European Union,” Sondland said in a statement obtained by The New York Times.His ouster came hours after Trump pushed out Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman from his White House job on the National Security Council.last_img read more