A study of the thermospheric forces at a high latitude site on two days of differing geomagnetic activity

first_imgData from the Fabry-Perot Interferometer and Dynasonde at Halley (75.5°S, 26.6°W, L ∼ 4.2), Antarctica, have been used to calculate the forces acting on the high latitude thermosphere. Two case studies of the forces have been undertaken to study why the thermospheric zonal wind speeds are typically so different on nights with different geomagnetic activity. One case study analyses the forces on a geomagnetically active night and the other analyses them on a geomagnetically quiet night. Even on the geomagnetically active night, it is found that the ion drag force is not necessarily the largest force at any one time. Simple comparison of the magnitudes of the forces does not make it very clear which ones dominate in controlling the motion of the thermosphere. This can be seen more clearly by rewriting the momentum equation so that the neutral velocity is expressed in terms of the ion velocity, and the other forces normalized by the ion density. It then becomes clear that, in the evening, the differences in the neutral velocity are due to increases in both ion density and ion velocity, while in the morning, only changes in ion density are important. Thus, although the ion drag force is often not the largest force, it appears that changes in it can account for the variations in neutral velocity between the two nights that were studied. It has also been shown as part of the analysis that whether or not the viscosity needs to be considered when calculating the ion drag force at an altitude of 240 km depends on the ion density profile. If the profile has a single peak then it is only necessary to consider the ion density at 240 km. It is, however, possible that just considering the ion density at this altitude may lead to an underestimate of the effective ion drag force if more than one peak is present.last_img read more

Women General Counsel Honored For Keeping Shideler’s Spirit Alive

first_imgWomen General Counsel Honored For Keeping Shideler’s Spirit AliveMarilyn Odendahl for www.theindianalawyer.comIn the shadow of the first woman attorney to become a partner at a large Indiana law firm, five female general counsel of publicly traded companies were honored Thursday for their achievements not only in the legal field but also for developing other women and minorities into leaders.The women were recognized by Barnes & Thornburg LLP at its 3rd Annual Shirley’s Legacy ceremony. Started in 2015, the law firm has annually remembered its late colleague, Shirley Shideler, by honoring female attorneys who reflect her trailblazing spirit.Shideler first joined Barnes as a legal secretary then became the first female associate at the firm in 1963 after completing her law degree in night school. She made partner in 1971, and in 1998 became the first woman to be president of the Indiana Bar Foundation.Although she died in 2003, she was very much a part of the evening reception. Several recalled memories of Shideler and marveled at how graciously she was able to accomplish so much for women.“I am very blessed to be able to walk in the shoes and stand on the shoulders of someone like Shirley,” said Sharon Barner, vice president and general counsel of Cummins Inc. “I feel very fortunate that I am able to do work that I am passionate about.”Along with Barner, the other 2017 Shirley’s Legacy honorees were Carrie Hightman, executive vice president and chief legal officer of NiSource Inc.; Cynthia Kretz, vice president and general counsel of Cook Group Inc.; Erin Roth, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary of Wabash National Corp., and Judi Sobecki, U.S. general counsel of The AES Corp.Each were introduced to the audience by a female attorney at Barnes and presented with an award encased in glass. The women were praised for being exemplary attorneys and leaders in the companies as well as their communities. In addition, they were applauded for cultivating and mentoring the next generation of leaders, especially among women and minorities.“We all have an obligation to help others and bring them up, whether it’s people that look like us or don’t look like us, whether people came from the same background as we did or from some other background,” Hightman said. “The more we can do that, the more that we can incorporate them in everything that we do in our jobs and in our lives, the better we’ll be in all respects.”As the Barnes’ attorneys pointed out, being a general counsel takes hard work and is a position that has to be earned every day. The five honorees were described as excelling in their field and setting an example for all corporate legal officers to follow.Kretz credited Shideler with shouldering a lot of the burden of getting women a place in the legal profession. And she noted that Shideler’s achievements have led to others looking beyond gender and paying more attention to what a person could do rather than who that person was.“I have been blessed with those women and men in my career from day one who have supported and mentored me in this role,” Kretz said. “This is an opportunity not just to recognize Shirley but also everyone in this room who help each one of us help other people.”As a young associate at Barnes & Thornburg, Roth met Shideler and was invited to some of the infamous partners’ lunches that put Shideler at the table as the lone female among the men. Roth was most impressed that the male partners treated Shideler as an equal, wanted her to succeed and were not intimidated by her intellect.“I always looked at that as a very young attorney and thought, if I could be half of what she is, then I’ve done a really good job,” Roth said of Shideler. “Standing here and actually getting an award that has her name on it, means a great deal to me.”Sobecki indicated the work that Shideler started is not finished. The AES executive echoed both Kretz and Hightman, saying she benefited from the support of others and she had an obligation to do the same.“Most people who achieve any level of success in life couldn’t do it on their own,” Sobecki said. “(They) get help from the people around them and owe it to them to pay back and do everything they can to develop others, to show them the path to really achieving everything they can.”FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more


first_img× Police Department holds largest promotion ceremony in its historyThe North Bergen Police Department promoted 16 members Monday, Dec. 12 in a ceremony with family, friends, law enforcement colleagues, and more. The promotion is the largest in the department’s history and will allow it to refill its table of organization, replace several retired supervisors, and ensure continued excellence in keeping North Bergen safe. The event was held in the North Bergen Recreation Center.  The 16 promotions are Captain Arthur Del, Lieutenants Bronson Jusino, Cynthia Montero, Jorge Raposo, Michael Vitali, Otoniel Cruz, and David Dowd, and Sergeants Nicholas Galliano, Alexander Vasquez, Michele Bartoli, Alex Barrios, Edward Moyano, Brian Caramucci, Victor Queiro, Brian O’Neill, and Christian Argudo.“North Bergen has always been strongly committed to public safety because it is in the best interests of our residents, businesses, children and everyone who makes up this community,” said Mayor Nicholas Sacco. “I congratulate the fine men and women promoted today and look forward to seeing them continue working hard to lead our police department forward.”“Maintaining an adequate supervisory staff is vital for our police department to continue providing the outstanding level of service our residents deserve, especially with the many young officers we have hired in recent years,” said Commissioner Allen Pascual.“I could not be more proud of my colleagues who are being promoted today, or of the outstanding work this department has done in 2016,” said Chief Dowd, who was recently sworn-in as the president of the Hudson County Association of Chiefs of Police.Residents invited to last meeting with policeThe North Bergen Police Department is hosting four informal N.B. TAPS meetings throughout the township in December. North Bergen residents are encouraged to come voice their concerns and discuss issues in person with members of the police department.The last meeting this month takes place from 7 to 8 p.m Thursday, Dec. 22 at Our Lady of Fatima Church, Lower Level, 8101 Kennedy Blvd.N.B. TAPS (North Bergen Township Alternative Policing Strategy) was initiated earlier this year by Chief of Police Robert Dowd in order to enhance police-community relations. Residents get to meet the officers who patrol their neighborhoods, and the officers learn about any matters of concern directly from the residents.Last day for toy donations Dec. 19Toy donations will be accepted until Monday, Dec. 19. They can be brought to the North Bergen Health Department, 1116 43rd Street, 2nd fl.; North Bergen Town Hall, 4233 Kennedy Blvd; North Bergen Police Department, 4233 Kennedy Blvd., 2nd fl.; North Bergen Parking Authority, 4225 Bergen Tpk.; both North Bergen Public Libraries, 8411 Bergenline Ave., and 2123 Kennedy Blvd.; Broadway Pharmacy, 2123 Broadway; and all North Bergen Schools.If you are a family in need of a meal or toys for the holiday, contact Aimee at (201) 392-0229 or [email protected] monthly nature walk at DeKorte ParkThe Bergen County Audubon Society leads a walk looking for wintering birds and raptors at DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst on Tuesday, Dec. 20 at 10 a.m. The park is located at 1 DeKorte Park, Kearny. For more information call (201) 230-4983 or email [email protected] New design for American Dream projectThe developer for the massive American Dream retail/entertainment complex on Route 3, Triple Five Worldwide, released a video last week of a new design plan. To replace the different colors of the exterior, the new design concept is to include a glass and silver exterior.The building project is scheduled to be completed in fall 2018, according to Tripe Five Worldwide.Also, “Big Snow America,” a 12-story, 180,000 square foot indoor ski and snowboard park, is coming to the complex.American Dream has recruited other businesses and entertainment options such as Lego Land, an aquarium, and a 4D dine-in movie theater.Watch the video for the new design concept at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVwxucZzl_M&feature=youtu.beCar goes up in flames on Route 3 Dec. 8Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari on Thursday, Dec. 8 said that a motor vehicle accident on Route 3 occurred at approximately 12:30 a.m. The Secaucus Police, North Bergen Police and Hudson County Sheriff’s Office responded to a car crash westbound near Route 495. First arriving units found part of a car engulfed in flames and an injured man lying on the grass median that separates RT-3 West and the RT-3 West Service Road. Sheriff’s Crash Investigators have determined that the driver lost control of his vehicle at the RT-1&9/RT-3 merge. According to the report, the car jumped a curb to the grass median that separates RT-3 East and West, crashed into two telephone poles, knocking one down, and then the car disintegrated.The driver was ejected from the wreck of the car, rolled across RT-3, and eventually ended up on the median, the report states.What remained of the car burst into flames and came to rest near the Paterson Plank Road overpass on RT-3 West, the report states. The driver was transported by EMS to Hackensack University Trauma Center with serious injuries. Hudson County Crash Investigators believe that high speed was a factor in the crash. The section of RT-3 West was closed for four hours while crash investigators worked the scene. Investigators have not yet determined if any other vehicles were involved in the crash. No charges have been filed at this time and crash remains under investigation.If anyone witnessed this crash, please contact the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office Crash Investigation Unit at (201) 915-1300.last_img read more

News story: Government announces new appointments to the Low Pay Commission

first_imgThe government has today (Wednesday 20 June) announced a number of new appointments and re-appointments to the independent Low Pay Commission (LPC).Kate Bell, Simon Sapper and Martin McTague will replace John Hannett, Brian Strutton and Peter Donaldson. Kay Carberry, Professor Sarah Brown and Clare Chapman have all been re-appointed to their previous roles.The appointments are for 3 years, with the option of reappointment.Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said: LPC is an advisory non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. It is important that the lowest paid are fairly rewarded for their contribution to the economy and the National Minimum Wage has been making millions of workers better off since it was introduced. The independent Low Pay Commission gives the government expert and impartial advice which is essential to this ongoing success. I would like to thank the outgoing commissioners for the contribution and welcome the 3 new commissioners. They bring a wealth of experience to the commission and I am delighted to have them on board. Professor Sarah Brown became a Low Pay Commissioner on 26th March 2015. She is a Professor of Economics at the University of Sheffield and a director of the Institute for Economic Analysis of Decision-making (InstEAD) at the University of Sheffield. Her research interests lie in the areas of labour economics, household finances and applied microeconometrics. Sarah continues as an independent commissioner. Kay Carberry was a Low Pay Commissioner from 1 November 2012 to 30 November 2017. She was Assistant General Secretary of the TUC before retirement at the end of February 2016 having previously been the first head of the TUC’s Equal Rights Department, set up in 1988. Kay will be re-joining as employee commissioner. Martin McTague is the director of Politics NE Ltd/Pical CIC (Public Policy Consultancy). He is also the Managing Director of A3C Solutions Ltd an IT company. He is also a policy director at the Federation of Small Businesses. Martin will join LPC as an employer commissioner The other Low Pay Commissioners are: Notes to editorscenter_img Interim Chair (independent) – Bryan Sanderson (current) Commissioner (employer) – Neil Carberry (current) Commissioner (independent) – Professor Richard Dickens (current) Kate Bell has been the Head of Economic and Social Affairs Department at the Trade Union Congress (TUC) since July 2016. Before joining the TUC, Kate worked as Head of Policy and Public Affairs for a local authority and for the charities Child Poverty Action Group and Gingerbread. Kate will join the LPC an employee commissioner Simon Sapper is a senior leader with over 30 years’ experience in high profile campaigning, regulatory and membership organisations across public, private and voluntary sectors. Simon will join LPC as employee commissioner The Low Pay Commission is an independent body that advises the government about the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage. Clare Chapman is Non-Executive Director and Remuneration Chair at Kingfisher and the Weir Group. Prior to this Clare has held executive roles leading HR in some of the world’s largest enterprises including Quaker Oats, PepsiCo and Tesco’s. Her most recent role was as Group People Director for BT. Between 2007 and 2011 Clare was the Director General of Workforce for the NHS and Social Care. Clare has also served on a number of expert bodies, including the Good Work Commission and the Modern Apprenticeship Taskforce. Clare continues as an employer commissioner. Biographies of the new commissioners:last_img read more

Thrival Festival Reveals Their Lineup With Pancake Art Video [Watch]

first_imgComing to Pittsburgh, PA from September 23-24, Thrival Innovation + Music Festival has shared their lineup… with pancakes?Seriously though, the festival has used pancake art to share their 2016 lineup, which includes The Chainsmokers, Ty Dolla $ign, CHVRCHES, Thievery Corporation, Lettuce and more. If you don’t believe us, check out their video below:Thrival 2016 Music Lineup Announcement from Jordan Robarge on Vimeo.You can scope the full lineup below, and head to the festival’s website for more information.last_img read more

A Ugandan border official, redefined

first_imgThis is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates.From the day of her birth in Uganda, Agnes Igoye confronted a world where girls were not valued.Igoye’s mother, having already given birth to two girls, was expected by relatives and neighbors to produce a boy. Agnes’s arrival on March 8 (coincidentally International Women’s Day) was greeted as a bitter disappointment that bordered on “scandalous,” said Igoye, M.C./M.P.A .’17. “And so, growing up in that atmosphere, when you’re not valued as girls, even education becomes [very difficult]. Many girls don’t get the chance.”Thankfully, her parents knew the importance of education. Her father had put himself through school selling cassava roots, while her mother, a prodigy living in the bush, was “discovered” by missionary sisters who paid for her education. Both became teachers who bucked convention by insisting that their daughters (six of their eight children) get an education. It was an idea widely ridiculed.As a child, Igoye was teased relentlessly for her interest in school, even called a prostitute by one man. Not sure what the word meant, but certain it wasn’t a compliment, Igoye said she made a promise then and there to her mother.“I said, ‘I’m going to really work hard in life and succeed and embarrass this man!’” Igoye, 45, recalled with a laugh. “I didn’t know what success meant, but I just knew that I had to do the things that boys do.”Igoye’s education came under threat in the late 1980s after religious militant Joseph Kony and his violent guerrilla group, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), embarked on a violent campaign across Uganda and into neighboring countries. Kony and the LRA terrorized villages, including Igoye’s, killing and mutilating residents, burning and looting homes, and abducting children for sexual exploitation and soldiering. One of Igoye’s female cousins was a victim.With gunfire outside their door, the family fled, leaving all their possessions behind to looters. They made their way to an encampment for some of the millions displaced by Kony’s reign. It was a traumatic chapter in her life that Igoye now says fueled her zeal to protect women and children from exploitation.“Human trafficking is everywhere,” but it can have different manifestations and even different definitions depending on the country, Igoye said. “In Uganda, for us, human trafficking includes child marriage, it includes the use of children in armed conflict, it includes superstition … it includes removal of organs for witchcraft and rituals,” and it includes forced labor and servitude, street begging by children or karaoke performances and dancing for money.Despite years of turmoil, Igoye finished high school and won admittance to Uganda’s only university at the time to study social science. She earned a master’s degree at Makerere University, then went to the University of Oxford as a Fulbright/Hubert Humphrey Fellow in 2010-11 to study forced migration. This month, she will graduate from Harvard Kennedy School as a Mason Fellow in the Mid-career Master in Public Administration Program.After college, Igoye joined Uganda’s ministry of internal affairs as an immigration officer. While working at the border and at the passport office, where fraudulent documents passed regularly, she saw trafficking and transnational organized crime operations up close and wondered why the government didn’t seem to be taking them seriously and — though it wasn’t part of their job description — why immigration officers weren’t being trained to identify these violations and intercede. She persuaded the Minister of Internal Affairs that with proper instruction, officers could help root out traffickers and protect survivors being moved in and out of the country. He appointed Igoye Uganda’s first trafficking trainer and the first woman officer to hold an immigration command post. Since then, she’s taught close to 2,000 new recruits how to identify suspected traffickers and victims, and she helped develop and coordinate Uganda’s anti-trafficking efforts to meet international standards.“There’s so many things to look out for because it’s not like they grab you and take you — [many victims] go willingly” and don’t realize they’re being trafficked, she said. Victims are taught by traffickers how to respond to law enforcement questions so that they avoid detection. Officers looking for telltale signs are essential.While abductions do occur, most trafficking today is done by professionals who recruit through social media or enlist help from a potential victim’s family or friends. Too often, parents are tricked into thinking they are helping their children seize a golden opportunity to study abroad or secure a high-paying job in the U.S. or Europe.“The challenge in Uganda is unemployment; people need to work. [Recruiters] lie to you that they got you this fantastic job, and when you get there, it’s not that job, it’s prostitution” or forced labor, perhaps in the Middle East, she said. Igoye is now the national training manager and deputy national coordinator of Uganda’s anti-trafficking task force.In June, she returns to Uganda’s capital, Kampala, to open a much-needed support center for survivors of trafficking. Armed with a $50,000 award from fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg’s foundation, Igoye hopes the “Dream Revival Center” will help fill an aching void. Uganda offers few services for those who’ve been trafficked and too often, even if survivors do escape, they find themselves no longer welcome by family and friends or left without money or a place to stay. With no one to trust, victims call in the middle of the night to have Igoye take them to her home. But after two law enforcement colleagues were shot dead recently, Igoye says it’s not safe to take victims in.She’s careful but fatalistic about her life’s work. “If they want to get you, they get you. But I’ve also settled for the idea that I’d rather die doing something like this than dying in my sleep. It would be boring!” she mused.Ultimately, Igoye hopes the center will allow survivors to reclaim their lives and pursue justice. “We often don’t win cases in court because traffickers … know where to get the survivors” and “make them withdraw cases,” she said.Between classes, Igoye speaks to groups across the country, including the United Nations, the State Department, and law enforcement and anti-trafficking professionals. She also raises awareness and promotes advocacy for girls and women to groups of university and high school students. Last summer, she visited a Las Vegas clinic with Nevada’s U.S. senators, met with trafficked women being held at area detention centers, participated in a raid to rescue 100 trafficked children, and went to the U.S.-Mexico border to discuss border management with patrol guards. Recently, she was chosen by the Clinton Global Initiative University to mentor participants working in criminal justice, and she’s working with the BBC on a documentary about trafficking.Igoye said leaving the front lines to spend a year at Harvard has been both intellectually rewarding and a respite from the horrors she deals with daily.“It’s not just about what you learn in class, it’s the confidence you get. Because I’m thinking, how did I end up here, there are so many smart people? And they drum it into you: You deserve to be here,” she said. “So, you get all that out of your head and then you just go for whatever you want. That’s the beauty of being accepted in a school like this.”And what’s next?“Eventually, I should run for office,” Igoye said. “With this education, they can no longer say ‘she’s not qualified,’ so who knows?”last_img read more

Walk Georgia Hawks Night

first_imgAbout 350 participants scored tickets to last Saturday’s Walk Georgia Night with the Atlanta Hawks. This is an annual event offered by the University of Georgia Extension’s Walk Georgia program that gets attendees involved in special activities and into the game for just $15.“What fun we had March 15th with Walk Georgia,” Elaine Mangham, of Molena, Ga., said of her family’s experience at Walk Georgia Night with the Hawks. “With high-fives, cheers, excitement and glowing faces, the children of all ages had a perfect time. Back in our seats for the game, we got to see great basketball, and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Denver Nuggets! What a special night for all of us.” Before the game began, Walk Georgia Night ticket holders sat court-side to watch the Hawks’ pre-game practice. Select participants were chosen to take part in the fan tunnel, where the players high-fived them as they took to the court at game time.To complete the evening, Walk Georgia Night attendees, clad in event T-shirts they received as part of the Walk Georgia Night package, watched the Hawks defeat the Denver Nuggets, 97-92. “Walk Georgia, you do so much in so many areas to improve our health, expand our minds and organize adventure. Please keep on doing what you do. You make such a positive, life-changing difference,” Mangham said. This is the third year the UGA Extension program has partnered with the Hawks to offer Walk Georgia Night, and attendance for 2014 was almost double what it was last year. “It’s giving exposure to Walk Georgia and it gives us the opportunity to bring it to more people,” Fulton County Extension Agent and Walk Georgia Night Coordinator Kisha Faulk said. A no-cost, online program, Walk Georgia works to combat obesity in the state at the most local level through UGA Extension and the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences. Walk Georgia is in its seventh year of providing Georgians the opportunity to virtually “walk” the state through the use of an online physical activity log and corresponding Web-based map. With two, 12-week sessions each year, the program encourages physical activity among Georgians of all ages. Through a $1 million, three-year grant, Walk Georgia is partnering with The Coca-Cola Foundation to achieve the goal of growing to 100,000 participants over the next three years as well as working to decrease obesity in each Georgia county by 5 percent. The grant will provide for an enhanced website, improved Walk Georgia services and increased growth of the program at the local level. The spring 2014 Walk Georgia campaign runs through April 26, and registration is open through April 15 on the Walk Georgia website, www.WalkGeorgia.org. For more information on Walk Georgia, see www.WalkGeorgia.org. For more information on the UGA Obesity Initiative, see obesity.ovpr.uga.edu.last_img read more

Jamaica, Trinidad Battle Violence as Drug Smuggling Plagues Caribbean

first_img “Other security and economic problems in Jamaica may have helped turned voters back to the PNP. Jamaica has one of the highest murder rates in the Caribbean, on an island of just under 3 million people. Joblessness and a listless economy were other top issues,” suggested a Jan. 4 editorial in the online Pan-American Post. “ The question now is whether with such a strong majority in Congress, the PNP will have the gravitas to institute serious policy changes,” the article said. “Previously, when Congress was more closely divided, it was more difficult to push legislation through. Now it will be tougher for the PNP to blame Labor Party opposition, if Jamaica does not start seeing improvements in security or the economy soon.” Trinidad fears deteriorating security situation In fact, drugs flow freely not only from Trinidad and Jamaica into the United States, but also between the two Caribbean islands. “We have been seeing the movement of drugs including cocaine into Jamaica from Trinidad,” Linval Bailey, vice-president of security for the Port Authority of Jamaica, told the Trinidad Express in December, adding that 8 percent of the cocaine seized in Jamaica during 2010 came from Trinidad. He explained that in decades past, interdiction successes in the Caribbean, coupled with a changing dynamic between Colombian and Mexican drug traffickers, led to a shift in transit routes toward Mexico and Central America. Now, interdiction efforts in Mexico and South America are having the reverse effect. Trinidad’s attorney general, Anand Ramlogan, said the temporary state of emergency that ended in December was necessary after intelligence revealed an “immediate threat and endangerment of public safety.” “Innocent citizens could have lost their lives had we not declared a state of emergency and taken swift and immediate action,” he said. “When the state of emergency was declared … it was in response to intelligence received from the security agencies which we cannot share with the population but which I can assure you we averted a crisis.” Ramlogan added that the measure had stopped “a further $100 million of cocaine coming into the country on a weekly basis.” Newsday, one of Trinidad’s major newspapers, endorsed the state of emergency, as did the Trinidad Guardian. In an editorial, Newsday said the emergency declaration could be temporarily bad for business, but that “this will prove in the medium and long term a relatively small price to pay if the recently imposed state of emergency has the desired impact in the battle against crime.” With 638 miles of coastline, over 100 unmonitored airstrips and an open ocean for speedboats, Jamaica is considered a key transit location for illegal narcotics, transported either via way stations located on the coast or moved up to the Bahamas, and then directly to U.S. and European markets. “Not only is Jamaica an important pitstop for the trafficking of Colombian cocaine, South American heroin and Mexican marijuana, but it is also the Caribbean’s leading producer and exporter of marijuana,” according to a report by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs. “As corruption and organized crime have become a serious impediment to judicial efforts aimed to curb the flow of illegal substances and laundered funds, Jamaican officials are working closely with their U.S. counterparts to initiate and fortify counter-drug legislation and procedures in hopes of cutting illegal narcotic-related activities on the island,” the COHA report concluded. By Dialogo January 09, 2012 The Caribbean’s reputation as a world-famous vacation paradise is increasingly being sullied by a violent wave of drug smuggling, kidnapping and murder — especially in the region’s two largest English-speaking countries: Jamaica and the twin-island republic of Trinidad and Tobago. In August, Trinidad’s prime minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, declared a limited state of emergency after 11 people were killed in four days. She attributed the killings to narcotics seizures and expressed grave concern that drug gangs are using Trinidad as a transshipment point for South American cocaine heading to Europe and the United States. The state of emergency was extended in September and finally lifted Dec. 5. But the nation of 1.3 million remains beset by drug-related crime and violence, with at least 15 murders occurring since the state of emergency ended and more than 350 homicides reported for all of 2011. Trinidadian leaders worry that their country is becoming a major transshipment point for South American cocaine destined for Europe and the United States — as well as a significant hub for arms smuggling and money laundering. Its location only seven miles off the Venezuelan coast and its well-developed banking and transportation infrastructure make it a convenient destination for a wide range of illegal activities. UNODC: Jamaica’s murder rate is world’s fourth highest Meanwhile, Jamaica — a leading international tourist destination — also suffers the ravages of the illegal drug trade. In 2010, Jamaica had a homicide rate of 52 per 100,000, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. That made it the fourth most-violent country in the world after Honduras, El Salvador and Cote d’Ivoire, although Jamaica’s homicide rate plunged last year following a crackdown by the island’s former prime minister, Bruce Golding. The high-profile case of Kingston drug lord Christopher “Dudus” Coke, described as one of the world’s most dangerous drug dealers, made headlines as international authorities waged an all-out manhunt for him. The hunt ended with Coke’s arrest in June 2010, but only after a confrontation that killed 73 civilians and three security officers over four days of fighting. The Coke case also prompted Jamaican authorities to issue a temporary state of emergency. But Golding’s handling of a 2009 U.S. extradition request for Coke cost his Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) an election victory late last month — returning Portia Simpson Miller’s center-left People’s National Party (PNP) to power for the first time since 2007. last_img read more

FSOC details threats it sees to the financial system

first_imgby: John HeltmanThe U.S. financial system has weathered several external threats in the past year, but significant hazards remain, including the potential for cyberattacks and excessive concentration of risk in central counterparties, according to a report by the Financial Stability Oversight Council.The interagency council’s annual report, released Tuesday, noted that the system has not suffered lasting effects from a precipitous drop in oil prices or ongoing crises in the Ukraine and the Middle East.But as those threats recede, others pose significant risks to financial stability and demand greater attention from policymakers, said Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.“There have been a host of technological, competitive, and regulatory changes that continue to reverberate and create potential new stresses to the system,” Lew said. “Cybersecurity is a primary focus of multiple agencies today. Central counterparties have grown in importance to financial stability and market resiliency. Market structures are evolving, and this had led to financial innovation and some migration of activities away from traditional players.” continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more