RokOtok project: Swim to survive

first_imgRokOtok is conceived as a memory of the father and son spending time together and their numerous joint adventures and games that were interrupted by Rok’s premature departure. One of the planned adventures was a tour of all 50 inhabited Croatian islands in search of the most beautiful beach with collecting points as they looked at the night sky and looked for the lights of airplanes and satellites, or best of all – shooting stars. The fish was accompanied on the trip – the first of the projects planned for now – by numerous unknown and well-known swimmers, amateurs and professionals: water polo player Miho Bošković, swimmers Dina Levačić, Antonija Buličić and Toni Pavičić Donkić…, only some of them, and except one large tuna, Pisces is a society in the sea and a few Adriatic bottlenose dolphins. photo: РокОток FB The fish fulfilled one wish, but also the promise of Roko on July 30, when he swam in the morning from Drvenik Veli to the bay of Ljubljeva on Ciovo, the 17th island station on his more than 100-kilometer-long swimming adventure that lasted 24 days. feel free to say night…, because when he swam one of the sections, instead of resting, he hung out with kids and their parents at educational workshops, and then, between massaging a sore shoulder and hanging out with local RokOtočani, he would sit at a computer and post on social networks, sent reports to numerous media who could hardly wait for any new news and communicated with the RokOtočani associates who remained in Zagreb. On the islands, a total of more than 2.000 children met Pisces in a protected area and would swim with him to the shore, where they then talked about adventures, travel, ecology, Croatia, islands…, after which they would look for hidden treasure and walk around the island, getting to know with its cultural and historical heritage. From the very beginning, the project was extremely well covered by the media from the very beginning – while it still existed only as a semi-elaborated idea in Riba’s head: on average, there were about 15 publications on portals, 3-4 articles in the press, and neither radio nor TV. the stations were not immune to “the most beautiful Croatian summer story”. Numerous individuals who got involved in the project in various ways were an integral part of the emotion-filled story: Red Cross rescuers offered their services, employees of police administrations and port authorities, employees of tourist boards and offices, local Rok Islanders who helped about the organization of socializing on the beaches, accommodation, food and drink and donations. RokOtok was helped by numerous sponsors: Sport Vision, Croatian National Tourist Board, Raiffeisen Bank, Rio Mare, Adriatic osiguranje, Crodux, Offertissima, Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund, Breyer Polyclinic, Infinum, Baby Center, Tele2, Božičević Editions, Yes I Do, Hangar 18, Croatia Mensa, FoodApp The swimming sections were on average 6.000 meters long, and the two most demanding from Mljet to Korčula and Hvar to Vis and over 17 kilometers – we should not forget that the sea is not always calm and warm as it is in swimming pools… “Stop telling me fairy tales before bed, I want to hear all about the most beautiful beaches” – is the sentence with which the boy Rok gave the idea to his dad, geography professor Domagoj Jakopović for the project #RokOtok and a book of the same name. After this summer, the rest of Croatia knows about Domagoj, who may not have met him as RibaFish, editor, journalist, blogger, and more recently as a writer. photo: РокОток FB And it wasn’t just because summer is pickle season! Riba’s story and his laudable goal – to encourage children and parents to socialize more – touched the painful place of anyone who is aware of (in) quality spending time with their loved ones, especially children. An hour for children without any electronics success is equal to surviving a month on a desert island. We must certainly not forget Riba’s closest team that accompanied him on the ship and took turns as needed: Rokotok member Kasandra Draganić – “cat for all”, doctors Marija and Ana Štanjel, and Ena Kurtić, skippers Lovro Urod and Dominik Perković, rescuers Ivan Jurić, Todor Jurjević and Nikola Stračárova, cameraman Igor Bogdanović. The background invisible operational support was more or less successfully performed by other members of the Rokotok association from Zagreb: it was necessary to collect gifts and books and send them to the islands, prepare contracts and press clippings, maintain the website www.rokotok….last_img read more

US indicts Venezuela’s Maduro, a political foe, for ‘narco-terrorism’

first_imgOther Venezuelan officials whose indictments were announced on Thursday include Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez, senior socialist leader Diosdado Cabello and the chief justice of the country’s supreme court, Maikel Jose Moreno Perez, 54, who was charged with money laundering. The US government is offering $10 million for information leading to Cabello’s arrest.The United States and dozens of other countries have recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s legitimate president. But Maduro has remained in power, backed by the country’s military and by Russia, China and Cuba.US officials have long accused Maduro and his associates or running a “narco-state,” saying they have used drug trafficking proceeds to make up for lost revenue from a Venezuelan oil sector heavily sanctioned by the United States.’Deployed cocaine as a weapon’The indictments were unsealed in New York, Florida and Washington.Maduro and his top lieutenants ran a “narco-terrorism partnership with the FARC for the past 20 years,” stated Geoffrey Berman, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, who said the Venezuelan president “very deliberately deployed cocaine as a weapon.”.”The scope and magnitude of the drug trafficking alleged was made possible only because Maduro and others corrupted the institutions of Venezuela and provided political and military protection for the rampant narco-terrorism crimes described in our charges,” he added.Berman accused Maduro and his co-defendants of “using their political and military power to promote narco-terrorism for their personal gain.” He said the case took many years to build.The US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Ariana Fajardo Orshan said she sees signs of Venezuelan officials’ dirty laundered money throughout her area every day, from fancy yachts to million-dollar condos.”This party is coming to an end,” she said.Asked whether the US government wants to capture Maduro dead or alive, Barr said: “We want him captured so he can face justice in US court.”Barr said the administration does “expect eventually to gain custody of these defendants” and would explore all options. But he offered no indication of how US authorities believe they might get their hands on Maduro, who has endured more than a year of heavy international pressure and on-again, off-again street protests as the OPEC member’s economy has continued to unravel.Maduro’s international travel could be restricted, given that Washington would be able to request that he be handed over if he visits a country that has an extradition treaty with the United States. US authorities can also freeze any assets he has in the United States, though such holdings are considered unlikely.The Justice Department said that since at least 1999, Maduro, along with Cabello and others, “acted as leaders and managers of the “Cartel of the Suns.” The name, it said, refers to the sun insignias affixed to the uniforms of high-ranking Venezuelan military officials.An indictment accused Padrino, who holds the rank of general, of using his control of the Venezuelan military to facilitate cocaine flights to the United States.Venezuelan Vice President Tareck el-Aissami was charged with evading US sanctions. In 2017, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions against him for alleged drug trafficking and other related crimes. Two nephews of Maduro’s wife were convicted in US federal court that year for drug smuggling. Topics : Attorney General William Barr, announcing charges that also included corruption and drug trafficking, accused Maduro and his associates of conspiring with a dissident faction of the leftist Colombian guerrilla group FARC “to flood the United States with cocaine.” “While the Venezuelan people suffer, this cabal lines their pockets with drug money and the proceeds of their corruption,” Barr said of Maduro and the more than a dozen others who were indicted.Venezuela’s information ministry did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment. The US government has previously lodged criminal indictments against members of Maduro’s family and inner circle.He and his allies have dismissed such allegations as a smear campaign, and argue the United States is responsible for drug trafficking given its role as a leading consumer.Maduro is already under US sanctions and has been the target of a US effort aimed at pushing him from power. He took office in 2013 after the death of his mentor President Hugo Chavez, a staunch US foe.center_img The US government on Thursday indicted Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and more than a dozen other top Venezuelan officials on charges of “narco-terrorism,” the latest escalation of the Trump administration’s pressure campaign aimed at ousting the socialist leader.The State Department offered a reward of up to $15 million for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Maduro, whose country has been convulsed by years of a deep economic crisis and political upheaval.The indictment, a rare US action against a sitting foreign head of state, marks a serious new phase against Maduro by Washington at a time when some US officials have privately said President Donald Trump is increasingly frustrated with the results of his Venezuela policy.last_img read more

Indonesia draws praise for assisting Rohingya as ASEAN fails to mitigate crisis

first_imgHowever, the move has received praise from activists and Rohingya advocacy groups such as the Arakan Rohingya National Organization, which expressed its gratitude to the government and people of Indonesia “for their generous efforts” to rescue Rohingya refugees in distress.A coalition of civil societies in Indonesia also applauded the move, saying the rescue could not have been possible without help from the central government.The coalition, comprising nine organizations including the Indonesian Civil Society Association for the Protection of Refugee Rights (SUAKA), Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) and Amnesty International, noted that the state was initially hesitant, but then the local community initiated the rescue out of solidarity and humanitarian spirit.“ASEAN countries need to accept Rohingya refugees and not reject the vulnerable groups whose lives are increasingly threatened in the middle of the sea,” the coalition said.Most ASEAN countries, including Indonesia, are not party to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, which would otherwise legally oblige them to take in and take care of any refugees that arrive at their borders.Read also: Despite conventions refugees still lack rightsNevertheless, Indonesia has repeatedly stressed that it is willing to go beyond the call of duty to provide Rohingya refugees safety and shelter when such incidents occur.UNHCR representative to Indonesia Ann Maymann said her agency stood ready to support the government in providing the necessary humanitarian assistance and quarantine measures.Too crowded: Rohingya refugees gather at a market on May 15, 2020, as the first cases of COVID-19 emerged in the area, in Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhia. Some 15,000 Rohingya refugees are now under coronavirus quarantine in Bangladesh’s vast camps, officials have said. (AFP/Suzauddin Rubel )“Indonesia has several times been a country that has set an example to others in the region, having also provided life-saving humanitarian assistance to Rohingya boat people in Aceh in 2015 and in 2018,” she said in a statement on Friday.Other neighboring countries, who were forced to take in stranded Rohingya in a larger incident in 2015, were reluctant to help this time around, with Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin saying at Friday’s summit that his country could no longer afford to take in any more Rohingya refugees, according to local reports.In addition to the assistance, the ministry said authorities were also investigating whether the migrants rescued could be victims of human trafficking. “Human smuggling is a crime that must be stopped and this requires regional and international cooperation,” it said.In mid-May, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and her Australian counterpart Marise Payne discussed the “boat people” situation using the Bali Process framework, which involves dozens of countries that make up the “supply chain” of irregular migration around the world.As co-chairs of the group, Indonesia and Australia have been called on by civil society organisations to convene high-level discussions on the unfurling refugee crisis, although the Australian side has reportedly resisted the pressure.Read also: Indonesia, Australia explore solution to Rohingya refugee crisis under Bali Process“This unsafe sea journey will certainly continue to occur as long as the root of the problem is not resolved,” the ministry asserts.Wednesday’s rescue occurred just days before President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo met other Southeast Asian leaders for the ASEAN Summit, in which they also highlighted the challenges that the organization faces in addressing the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar.Read also: ‘Totally shameful’: Outrage as ASEAN nations abandon Rohingya boat peopleASEAN has been widely criticized for its slow handling of the crisis, which is being led by an ad hoc support team that has helped Myanmar since February to repatriate Rohingya refugees who fled persecution in 2017.The Rohingya are a largely Muslim minority in Rakhine state who have been discriminated against and robbed of civilian rights in Myanmar.Retno said the ad hoc team had recommended setting up an FM radio station in Rakhine to build awareness of the repatriation program, “strengthen social cohesion and build trust and confidence”. They also suggested provisions for basic services.Myanmar’s government had shut down the internet in Rakhine for the past two years as its military continues to be embroiled in a conflict against who they claim to be the Arakan Army, an insurgent group fighting for more autonomy for ethnic Rakhine Buddhists.Myanmar’s consistent dismissal of criticism against its treatment of minority groups – including the Rohingya – also made it harder to ensure the success of repatriation efforts, as refugees remain fearful of their safety if they return to a country that doesn’t acknowledge their citizenship status.“For Indonesia, it is important to ensure efforts to create safe conditions in Rakhine State so that the Rohingya can return voluntarily, safely and with dignity in their homes in Rakhine State,” the ministry said.Topics : Indonesia has garnered praise for its decision to provide humanitarian assistance to the nearly 100 Rohingya migrants stranded off the northern coast of Aceh this week, as pressure mounts on the region to deal with the crisis in Myanmar.The government is working with civil society groups as well as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to ensure the well-being of a large group rescued by local fishermen, the Foreign Ministry has said.“The central government and the local administration [of Aceh], in collaboration with the UNHCR and IOM, will immediately make further efforts to handle these 99 Rohingya migrants. The people of North Aceh and Indonesian civil society groups are also actively providing humanitarian assistance,” the ministry said in a statement on Friday evening. Officials described Wednesday’s rescue as a decision made based on “humanitarian principles” and that the refugees were in a “very poor, emergency and life-threatening situation” in the waters off North Aceh.Read also: Indonesian fishermen rescue dozens of Rohingya refugees in Aceh watersBut now the main focus was to provide them with basic needs, temporary shelter and the necessary health services that ensure they follow health protocols to prevent COVID-19 transmission among the Rohingya migrants, the ministry said.Indonesia’s statement comes amid concerns that local authorities were mulling over whether to send the refugees out to sea after their boat repairs.last_img read more