Armed Forces in Latin America remove land mines

first_img FARC and ELN land mines In 1994, land mines killed or injured a person every 20 minutes in the world. Today, land mines kill or injure 10 people every day, Paul Heslop, the program director of the UN Mine Action Service, said during a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland on April 3. “The battle against mines is being won,” Heslop said. “However, we must continue working to completely eradicate these weapons.” Colombia and other Latin American countries are not alone in facing threats from land mines. More than 65 million land mines threaten the lives of people in 56 countries around the world, José Miguel Insulza, secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS) said during the Global Conference on Assisting Landmine Victims in Medellin, Colombia on April 4. The OAS has developed demining activities in Central America, a region where after 19 years of work, the eradication of these devices has been completed, Insulza said. “The task of removing thousands of mines in Central America seemed impossible in 1991. The completion of demining operations in Nicaragua was the pinnacle of our efforts,” Insulza said. “ In 2010, we could declare Central America as a landmine-free territory. This means that it can be done.” The Colombian government has been moving forward with all actions to ensure rights are respected in affected communities, promoting humanitarian demining, comprehensive victim assistance, and mine risk education, the director of the Presidential Program of Comprehensive Action against Anti-personnel Mines, Daniel Ávila Camacho told reporters on April 5. People in rural areas of Colombia have been disproportionately killed and injured by land mines placed by terrorist and criminal groups. “We have suffered this scourge for decades with devastating effects on the population, especially the sometimes invisible rural population, where women are the most affected,” Colombia’s newly appointed representative to the United Nations, Maria Emma Mejía, said at the UN on April 4 during the International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. In the 1980s, the FARC and the ELN drastically increased their use of land mines. These groups used land mines to terrorize the civilian population. Between 2007 and 2013, Colombian security forces destroyed more than 19,600 domestically-manufactured, according to Lt. Col José Reinel Herrán Villalba, director of the National Humanitarian Demining Center Against IEDs and Mines (CENAM) of the National Army of Colombia. The CENAM director reported the destruction of the mines while participating in an April 3 panel discussion, “Keeping the Momentum of Mine Action” at UN Headquarters. In 2012, the Armed Forces of Colombia reported that two municipalities, San Carlos, Antioquia, and El Dorado, Meta, were mine-free, “which demonstrates the effectiveness of national capacity efforts,” Herrán Villalba said. Peru’s demining efforts Peru’s security forces are striving to remove all land mines from the country by March 2017. The Army of Peru has disabled more than 7,500 so far. Of that number, 6,500 mines were deactivated during the administration of President Ollanta Humala, who was elected in 2011, according to Ahora. A land mine costs three dollars (USD), while disabling a land mine costs the country about $1,000 (USD). About 15,000 land mines remain in Peru, Carlos Manuel Gil Montes Molinari the director of security and defense of the General Directorate for Multilateral and Global Affairs of the Foreign Ministry, told Ahora on March 28. On the border between Chile and Argentina, there are about 10,000 mines, Mendoza Mora said. Chile is also working to eradicate land mines. In 2013, the National Demining Commission and the Ministry of Education launched a campaign to inform the public about explosive devices and how to prevent land mine injuries. In Magallanes, there are about 57,000 anti-tank mines, a cluster munition contaminated area, and an unknown number of unexploded military ordinances, the director of the civil organization Centro Zona Minada, Elir Rojas, told Diario UChile in October 2013. In May, 2011, there were 363,000 land mines throughout the country, according to the National Demining Commission of Chile. Authorities have destroyed at about 192,000 of those mines. The governments of Colombia, Peru, Chile and Argentina are working hard to remove dangerous land mines. The devices – many were deployed by terrorist and organized crime groups — have killed or injured thousands of people in those countries. Security forces in those countries have destroyed more than 200,000 land mines in recent years. The governments of Colombia, Peru, Chile and Argentina “are on track” with demining activities, said Carlos Mendoza Mora, director of Strategic Projects Consulting, a private security firm in Mexico City. Colombia has the world’s second highest number of land mines, second only to Afghanistan. From 1990 to 2014, explosive devices in Colombia wounded or killed an estimated 10,657 people, according to the website Accion (Actions Against Mines). About 80 percent of the victims were killed, and about 20 percent were wounded. The victims included more than 6,300 military personnel and more than 4,100 civilians. center_img Land mines are a global problem By Dialogo May 30, 2014 Protecting civilians The high cost of locating and disabling land mines is a challenge for national governments. Because land mines are spread out over large geographic areas, it often takes longer to locate and dismantle them than originally projected, Mendoza Mora said. In addition to destroying land mines, Latin American governments should remain vigilant about educating the civilian population about areas which are dangerous because they contain land mines The Armed Forces of the countries which are engaged in demining efforts are working hard to protect the civilian population, the security analyst said. “The Armed Forces are working for safety in everyday civil society. All soldiers are putting their integrity and life on the line in order to achieve the objectives,” Mendoza Mora said. “Society should recognize the military’s efforts.”last_img read more

China logs 9th consecutive day with no locally transmitted COVID-19 cases

first_imgChina reported its ninth consecutive day with no new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, as a major university in the city of Wuhan opened for face-to-face classes on Tuesday for the first time in eight months.The daily update from national health officials, which provided data for Monday, showed the recent streak without any new locally transmitted cases stretched into another day.There were 14 new imported cases, involving travellers returning from overseas, down from 16 the previous day. There were also 16 new asymptomatic cases – patients who are infected with the coronavirus but not exhibiting any symptoms – compared with 27 a day earlier. Topics : In the central city where the virus was first detected, Wuhan University opened its doors to more than 9,100 students on Monday.The official Xinhua news agency reported that the university had been deep cleaned and disinfected. Students returning for on-site lectures would receive temperature checks and be required to wear a mask in the library, the agency added.Wuhan, which reported the first death from the novel coronavirus in early January, has received widespread attention for the speed at which life is returning to normal after months of robust restrictions and widespread virus testing.Chinese state newspapers last week threw their support behind an amusement park in the city after pictures of a densely packed pool party went viral overseas amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19. The media reports said the party reflected the city’s success in its virus control efforts.China’s total number of confirmed cases stands at 84,981, including 4,634 deaths. last_img read more

Florida man arrested for kicking his friend to death

first_imgA 36-year-old St. Petersburg man has been arrested after authorities say he kicked one of his friends to death outside of a bar during an argument.The incident occurred at the Sports bar and grill inside the Northgate Center on January 14th.Authorities say a bartender found the mangled body of 48-year-old Scott Jenks just before 4:40 am in the parking lot and called it in.During the investigation, authorities pulled surveillance footage from the surrounding businesses and found that Jenks left the bar around 3:00 am with another man. The two men were said to have walked across the parking lot and suddenly the suspect began kicking Jenks as Jenks begged him to stop. The attack was said to have gone on for over an hour.When authorities showed the footage to the staff at the bar, the staff was immediately able to identify the attacker as Kristoff King who often came to the bar with Jenks.Investigators were eventually able to locate Kristoff on a Greyhound bus in Gainesville several days later and arrested him.He is now facing a first-degree murder charge and possible deportation as he is a native of the Bahamas.It is unclear what caused the argument.last_img read more

Students to be reprimanded after drugs prank at West Donegal school

first_imgA number of students at a West Donegal school are to be reprimanded after a video was posted online allegedly showing them snorting cocaine.A full investigation has been launched at PCC Falcarragh following the incident.The video, which showed a pupil snorting white powder from off a phone in the toilets of the school, has since been removed. However, a number of concerned parents thought the video was real and contacted Donegal Daily with their concerns.One woman claimed that six pupils had been expelled as a result of the incident.She also claimed that the Garda Drugs Squad had attended the school and the pupils had been drug-tested.However, principal of the 450 student school Maeve Sweeney has now come out publicly to dismiss the incident as a ‘prank.’ She stressed that there was “no illegal substance” in the school.However, she said the school was treating the incident as a “serious matter” and one which will be dealt with under the school’s own code of behaviour.She said “Reports regarding videos purportedly involving an illegal substance and a student from our school are false, in that the view is that there was in fact, no illegal substance.“The fact that the video portrays a prank is nonetheless considered to be a serious matter given the nature of what the video appears to depict, and as such, it will be dealt with fully under the school’s Code of Behaviour.“The gardaí have been fully involved in the school’s investigation of these reports. We trust this clarifies the position, and we confirm our school’s position in tackling any such issues.” Gardai have confirmed they attended the school on November 22nd to issue guidance to students.Students to be reprimanded after drugs prank at West Donegal school was last modified: November 30th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegaldrugsMaeve SweeneyPCC FALCARRAGHlast_img read more

‘Worried’ Kiwis may pull out of CWG

first_imgNew Zealand has indicated that it might pull out of the Delhi Commonwealth Games (CWG) if it does not find security up to the mark. According to reports, New Zealand is worried over the arrangements during the 2010 Games and has said that the security of athletes is its top priority. New Zealand team’s chef de mission Dave Currie is expected to visit Delhi on Tuesday for a final pre-Games assessment. The Kiwis have hinted that they would not hesitate from taking tough decisions if the reports are not satisfactory. New Zealand Olympic Committee president Mike Stanley has revealed that seven New Zealand Police officers would accompany the team throughout the Games.last_img

Stragglers

first_imgFlightless birdP Ashok Gajapati Raju64, Minister for Civil AviationDuring NDA-I (1998-2004), civil aviation was a clear focus area. It laid down clear policies favouring the entry of private airlines and private players in airport building. The UPA government kept up the policy momentum to fuel a boom in domestic air,Flightless birdP Ashok Gajapati Raju64, Minister for Civil AviationDuring NDA-I (1998-2004), civil aviation was a clear focus area. It laid down clear policies favouring the entry of private airlines and private players in airport building. The UPA government kept up the policy momentum to fuel a boom in domestic air travel. Under NDA-II, civil aviation seems to have gone into retreat, with the civil aviation ministry appearing rudderless under Raju. The opportunities are huge. India’s civil aviation market is one of the fastest growing in the world: it grew by 28 per cent last year. A 70 per cent drop in aviation fuel prices saw even Air India post a small profit this year. But the state-owned airline continues to yield market share to more nimble rivals such as IndiGo. The continued neglect of the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation is also cause for concern. by Sandeep Unnithan Also read:#TwoYearsofModi: Prime Minister’s governance record scuffed but intact #TwoYearsofModi: Meet the Panchratna #TwoYearsofModi: The good guys #TwoYearsofModi: The so-so performers  Anant Geete. Photo: Yasbant NegiLacking industryAnant Geete64, Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises of IndiaWhat could have been a transformational ministry for the Modi government has been relegated to the back-burner. There was an expectation that efforts would be made either to exit loss-making public sector enterprises or a credible strategy would be put in place to turn them around. However, in a meeting with journalists in January, Geete admitted that of the 32 PSUs under his ministry, 12 were running losses, and attempts to give heavy industries the much-needed push have been lackadaisical at best. Maharatna Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited alone accounts for 85 per cent of total turnover and 55 per cent of total manpower of all PSEs under the ministry, which has been running into losses. One of the goals stated by the ministry are to make PSEs self-reliant and profit-making. Clearly, Geete is far away from that stated goal.by Shweta Punj with Kiran TareadvertisementRadha Mohan SinghCome a cropperRadha Mohan Singh66, Minister for AgricultureBeing India’s agriculture minister through two consecutive drought years can’t be easy. Singh is also under pressure from the PMO to project an even more ‘farmer-friendly’ face than the UPA. After the spectacular failure of the Soil Health Card Scheme and the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, Singh is placing his bets on the Fasal Bima Yojana, which he says will be a game-changer for farm economics and politics.by Piyush BabeleBandaru Dattatreya. Photo: Yasbant NegiLabouring onBandaru Dattatreya69, Minister for Labour and EmploymentThe inability of the government to push through labour reforms is hanging like an albatross around its neck. The government was left red-faced when it was forced to roll back the Budget proposal to tax EPF withdrawals. The ministry has also been working on consolidating India’s archaic labour laws, all 44 of them, into four codes: wage, industrial relations, social security and safety and working conditions. Consultations on two codes, wage and industrial relations, are over and they are now with the law ministry. Meanwhile, states have gone ahead and taken the lead in pushing through reforms which form the core of ease of doing business. States such as Rajasthan allows companies employing up to 300 staffers to lay off workers without taking government approval. On the jobs data put out by the labour bureau, the ministry is working on expanding the scope of labour-intensive sectors from the current eight. The new methodology is likely to be out by July this year.by Shweta PunjJP Nadda. Photo: Yasbant NegiHealthy regardJP Nadda55, Minister for HealthFar too little funds and far too many unfinished plans left a long to-do list: 17 new AIIMS and 20 cancer institutes, nationwide insurance schemes, new technology for hospitals or National Health Assurance Mission. Instead of the grand plans, the minister focused on the incremental, the familiar and the modest. Meanwhile, pharma firms hiked the cost of essential medicines, a series of scams exposed the corruption in medical education, medical entrance exams came under a cloud, and tainted doctors made a backdoor comeback to the Medical Council of India. All this raised questions on the seriousness of the Modi government’s promises on health. But cool, quiet and unflappable Mr Nadda-dubbed “master strategist” by his peers-busy with assembly elections in Kerala, just carried on.by Damayanti Datta Chaudhary Birender SinghVillage voiceChaudhary Birender Singh70, Minister for Rural DevelopmentInducted into the Narendra Modi cabinet after the November 2014 assembly polls, Birender Singh, the BJP’s seniormost Jat leader in Haryana, has taken flak for the NDA government’s about-turns on the Land Acquisition Bill and NREGA after Modi had declared it a “failed” scheme. Singh claims that even though the UPA started them, “it is the NDA that is making these schemes operational and transparent.”by Piyush BabeleadvertisementUnMSMErisedKalraj Mishra74, Minister for MSMEKalraj Mishra is an old and experienced BJP hand, but none of the big-ticket MSME initiatives, which featured prominently in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election speeches of 2014, have got off the ground. The exit policy promised for sick MSME units, for example, has not seen the light of day. Nor has the MSME Bank. Nor even the plan to revive ailing units in the sector. On the plus side, Mishra may be credited with simplifying the MSME registration process, now reportedly done within five minutes, and the turnaround of brand Khadi.by Santosh Kumar Sadanand GowdaCourting disasterSadanand Gowda63, Minister for Law and JusticeJust as he was transferred from the railways to the law and justice ministry in November 2014, a now legendary battle started brewing between the judiciary and the government over who would appoint the judges in the higher judiciary. A hundred jurists locked horns for months in 2015 before a five-judge bench-to debate what was constitutional, and what political, and where the lines blurred. With the judiciary rejecting the 99th constitutional amendment and the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC), the government faced a resounding defeat. The shock of it eclipsed law minister Gowda’s first year. His biggest contribution has been to focus on the National Litigation Policy, to reduce government litigation by taking appropriate steps at the pre-litigation stage. by Damayanti DattaMahesh Sharma. Photo: Vikram SharmaCulture heavyMahesh Sharma56, MoS (independent charge) for Culture and Tourism and Civil AviationAs culture and tourism minister, Sharma tells India Today, his biggest achievements are e-visas for tourists and e-ticketing facilities in ASI monuments. The minister has been more in the news for his “threat to impose Indian values and cleanse cultural institutions”. In his words, he has been able to “cleanse” several institutes by “offering [a] facelift in activities, ambience and presentability”. But his critics will point out that the “facelift” is primarily about appointing as heads of institutes individuals happy to toe the party’s ideological line. Two very significant steps taken by the culture and tourism ministry are to digitise and conserve historical documents and to manage a databank of artists and artisans.As MoS for Civil Aviation, Mahesh Sharma will take heart from the Rs 6 crore operating profit Air India has finally made after a decade. by Kaushik DekaSarbananda Sonowal. Photo: Yasbant NegiPoor sportSarbananda Sonowal53, Minister for Sports and Youth AffairsHis ministry has a programme to support athletes with Olympic prospects, which, thanks to bureaucratic myopia, doesn’t work. For instance, badminton player Parupalli Kashyap, who had been nursing an injury, was sent an air ticket by the ministry to play in the South Asian Games in Assam in February when Kashyap wanted to rest and recover for the Olympics. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s directive to me is simple: sports and sportspersons must be kept away from any hurdle, including politics,” he says, by way of explanation. by Kaushik Dekaadvertisementlast_img read more

Tale of two cities

first_imgThe evening started with the short introduction by Ashok Vajpayee, followed by short word on Kraków and literature by Prof  Piotr Klodkowski.Piaskowski took the audience through a presentation on Krakow City of literature. Urvashi Butalia made contemporary remarks on the literature of both the cities. Michal Rusinek gave an insight into the Krakow literature. The event was concluded with an interactive discussion with the audience.After a three-year wait, Kraków become the UNESCO City of Literature,  21 October 2013. Kraków is the seventh city to be granted this honour, following Edinburgh, Melbourne, Iowa City, Dublin, Reykjavík and Norwich. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Kraków receiving the title of UNESCO City of Literature bears testament to the cultural heritage of our ancient city and the wealth of its artistic life today.Kraków has long been an academic and intellectual centre of Europe and a cradle of language and literature; it was the first Polish city to hold scriptoriums, libraries and printing houses, and it is the birthplace of scores of literary masterpieces. It was also home to the authors of Polish modernism – Stanislaw Wyspianski, Stanislaw Przybyszewski and Józef Mehoffer – and more contemporary artists including Karol Wojtyla, Tadeusz Kantor, Stanislaw Lem, Slawomir Mrozek and Andrzej Wajda. It was here that Czeslaw Milosz (awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1980) returned after many years in exile, and it was the home of Wislawa Szymborska (Nobel Prize in 1996) throughout her long life until her passing in 2012.last_img read more