Leahy brings Senate panel to Vermont to focus on crime solutions

first_imgSenator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will chair a field hearing of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, March 22, in Barre, Vermont. The hearing will examine the effective efforts of Barre and surrounding communities in fighting drug-related crime. Leahy has invited the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, R. Gil Kerlikowske the nation s drug czar to testify at the hearing. Kerlikowske is the former police chief in Seattle, and has almost 40 years of law enforcement experience. Judiciary Committee Member Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), a former prosecutor, will also attend.Leahy chairs the Senate panel, and noticed the hearing on Effective Community Efforts to Counter Drug-Related Crime in Rural America on Friday. Leahy has been a long-time leader in Congress on efforts to assist state and local law enforcement, as well as community-based efforts to prevent and address crime. This is the third in a series of hearings on drug crime that Leahy has brought to Vermont. He has twice brought the Judiciary Committee to Vermont to hear firsthand about the successful efforts communities have made to address drug-related crime. The hearings, which were held in Rutland and St. Albans, helped to strengthen community resolve to address the problem of drug-related crime, and highlighted successful community-wide efforts to take on this difficult issue. In Vermont, we have felt the presence of drug abuse and drug-related crimes in our communities. The myth persists that these are only big-city problems, but rural America is also coping with these issues, said Leahy. As we learned in Rutland and St. Albans, communities are developing innovative and effective ways to combat crime, and communities across the country can learn from their successes. Vermonters in Barre and the surrounding communities have similarly pulled together to face this serious problem, and I believe this hearing will help other small towns across the country learn from their successes.Leahy has advocated a three-pronged approach to combating rising crime levels in America prevention, treatment and enforcement. He has invited local and state officials to testify, as well as community leaders and advocates. Barre Mayor Tom Lauzon will offer testimony at the hearing.Witnesses who will testify with Director Kerlikowske at the March 22 hearing include:* Col. Tom L Esperance, Vermont State Police Commander* Barbara Floersch, Associate Director of the Washington County Youth Service Bureau/Boys & Girls Club* *Susan, Graduate of the Vermont Works for Women s Modular Home Construction Program at Northwest State Correctional Facility* Damartin Quadros, Community business ownerThe hearing will be held Monday, March 22, at 9:30 a.m., at the Barre City Auditorium, 20 Auditorium Hill, Barre, Vermont.# # # # #**Name has been changed to protect witness identityNOTICE OF COMMITTEE FIELD HEARINGThe Senate Committee on the Judiciary has scheduled a hearing on Effective Community Efforts to Counter Drug-Related Crime in Rural America for Monday, March 22, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. in the Barre City Auditorium in Barre, Vermont.By order of the Chairman.# # # # #Source: Leahy’s office. 3.12.2010last_img read more

U.S. Provides Support for NATO’s Libya Operations

first_imgBy Dialogo April 13, 2011 While everyone is whining about hundreds of millions to support Libyan freedom fighters, they forget that oil speculation, largely driven by the war in Libya, is costing us hundreds of Billions in raised gas prices, and has already destroyed many small companies, especially trucking companies. Mientras todos se están quejando acerca de los miles de millones para ayudar a los luchadores de la libertar de Libia. Ellos se olvidaron que la especulación petrolera, fue enormemente conducida por la guerra en Libia, está costando miles de billones con el aumento de los precios de la gasolina y ya ha destruido muchas pequeñas empresas, especialmente las compañías de tráilers. The United States continues to support NATO efforts in Libya, as Moammar Gadhafi’s forces continue attacks on Misrata and Ajdabiya. Gadhafi has said he will accept a cease fire, but “the latest reports are that Gadhafi is continuing to carry out attacks,” said Pentagon spokesman Marine Col. Dave Lapan. “Talk of a cease fire is just that: Talk,” Lapan added. The African Union has proposed a ceasefire. “Since the start of the crisis, NATO has been in constant touch with the African Union as well as other regional and international organizations,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said today in Brussels. “I want to be clear: There can be no solely military solution to the crisis in Libya. NATO welcomes all contributions to the broad international effort to stop the violence against the civilian population. Any ceasefire must be credible and verifiable.” NATO aircraft are striking with care and precision while minimizing the danger to civilians, Rasmussen said. “This is in stark contrast to the pro-Gadhafi forces,” he said, “who are besieging their own cities and shelling city centers.” Since 9 April, NATO aircraft have flown almost 300 sorties, the secretary general said, destroying 49 tanks, nine armored personnel carriers, three anti-aircraft guns and four large ammo bunkers. Meanwhile, Gadhafi’s forces continue offensive operations against rebels in eastern Libya. The no-fly zone has blunted the effects of the regime force’s attacks, but has not ended them. “We’ve talked all along about the nature of a no-fly zone and how that restricts the regime’s forces, but that doesn’t stop them,” Lapan said. NATO officials said the Libyans are using schools and mosques as shields for their armored forces. The proximity to civilians means these targets are off-limits for NATO. The DOD comptroller estimates the cost of U.S. operations in Libya to be $40 million per month. Total U.S. cost from the beginning of operations in mid-March through 4 April was $608 million, Lapan said. American forces are not conducting strike missions in Libya. U.S. forces are supporting NATO with air-to-air refueling, reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities and unmanned aerial vehicle support. U.S. ships are also participating in the arms blockade off Libya in the Mediterranean. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said before Congress on 31 March that he did not expect the department would need a supplemental request to fund the operation. The department is working on a funding strategy.last_img read more

McNeal impresses in Tyler’s absence

first_imgAfter senior tailback Marc Tyler pulled his hamstring during Tuesday’s practice, freshman tailback D.J. Morgan was forced to bow out midway through Saturday’s practice due to what USC coach Lane Kiffin termed “knee tendinitis.”Time to shine · Junior running back Curtis McNeal could be a potential special teams standout this season, according to USC coach Lane Kiffin. – Daily Trojan file photo For a team already decimated by injuries, the decision to pull Morgan out of practice was precautionary, as the coaching staff feared the wet grass might have been hazardous for Morgan, who has been recovering from a torn ACL injury he suffered during his senior year of high school.These two injuries allowed junior Curtis McNeal and sophomore Dillon Baxter to receive more repetitions at tailback. McNeal noticeably outshined the more celebrated Baxter, at least on this day, breaking off several runs of at least 10 yards, while Baxter was often stopped at the line of scrimmage.“Both of them have had great attitudes this spring,” Kiffin said. “Curtis, once he was ineligible last season, really hit him. Sometimes guys have to hit rock-bottom before they figure it out. His attitude’s been great comparable to when he got here.”Although McNeal flashed explosiveness, Kiffin was non-committal when asked if McNeal figured into the tailback competition. Instead, Kiffin foresees McNeal as more of a special teams standout who also must become academically eligible for the upcoming season. A glaring weakness for the Trojans this past season was their mediocre pass defense. Though two of the positions in the secondary are set with junior free safety T.J. McDonald and sophomore cornerback Nickell Robey returning, the competition to secure both the strong safety spot and the cornerback position opposite Robey are wide-open, with no shortage of candidates.Freshman cornerback Anthony Brown impressed coaches Saturday with an interception return for a touchdown and deflections.“He’s really worked extremely hard since the day that he got here,” Kiffin said. “He’s not a great paper guy. He’s not height-weight-speed ratio, but he made a bunch of plays in high school, and hopefully he can continue to do what he did today.”Brown said he feels much more comfortable with the USC defensive schemes in the second year of his career, but still struggles with breaking to the ball quickly enough on occasion. —last_img read more

Princesses coach guarding against complacency

first_imgGhana U20 Women’s coach Masud Dramani says his team will not lose focus in their quest to qualify for next year’s Fifa U20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea.The Black Princesses made a giant step towards qualification to tournament after drawing 2-2 with Ethiopia in their final round qualifier first leg in Addis Ababa.Ghana took the lead after Hassabi Muso scored an own goal very early into the game. Ethiopian Loza Abera pulled level in the 15th minute before adding another in the 22nd minute to make it 2-1.Princesses striker Kate Addo however scored barely 10 minutes to full-time to brighten Ghana’s chances in the second leg which is in a fortnight. “We are always very positive about how we go about things, we have also been guided by the issue of really keeping our direction, keeping our focus and picking the games as it comes,” he told Joy Sports“Ethiopia is very formidable i remember in 2011 they eliminated Ghana from the Olympic qualifiers which i was the assistant coach. “So we are guided by some of these historic events, football is global now and so you need to respect your opponents and be guided by the sense of complacency.”The return leg game has been scheduled for the Baba Yara Stadium in a fortnight.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySports.last_img read more

Raiders to play 2019 season in Oakland before Las Vegas move

first_imgOAKLAND — Raiders fans will get to root for their team in Oakland one more season.After months of searching for a temporary home, owner Mark Davis settled on the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum after reaching a lease deal Friday with East Bay officials.The Coliseum Stadium Authority board at its Friday meeting voted unanimously to approve the lease extension.The Raiders will pay $7.5 million, plus $750,000 they owe from previous parking fees to play nine home games in Oakland where they have a …last_img

G20: Africa’s growth can stabilise the world economy

first_img“The G20 has the right mix of developing and mature economies to lay the foundation for sustainable growth,” Dr. Heather Smith (Image: B20 Australia)• G20 Task Force Australia+61 800 922 011G20info@pmc.gov.au Sulaiman PhilipGoods are made in the world. Your smartphone contains rare earth minerals mined across Africa. Different components are manufactured across the globe and, in the case of your iPhone, assembled at a factory in China before being shipped to the US. Older smartphones are shipped to the developing world, where they are refurbished and resold, or recycled for the gold, silver and platinum used in their manufacture.Until very recently American tech company Apple was the most highly valued in the world, but, it has fewer than 600 000 American employees. Across the globe however, Apple has created more than 1.6 million jobs, not including those in the retail sector.When one link in that chain breaks, then the entire interdependent and integrated world economy is threatened with failure. The effects can be devastating, as the world realised when financial markets in the US collapsed, sending ripples across the globe.In his introduction at the G20 Outreach Seminar at UNISA, vice chancellor, Mandla Makhanya, explained that the global economy was slowly backing away from that chasm, but that there was still work to be done. He pointed out that global economic activity and the meltdown in 2008 had shown governments that what it meant to be a nation had also changed irrevocably.Makhanya highlighted challenges facing nations – jobless growth and growing inequality – but added that there were people working to tackle these problems. The G20 group of nations, and its target of 2% growth, is the best hope to help reap the promise of better futures for all. “The G20 is capable of catalysing a global turnaround. They are able to grapple with challenges at a global level and can put in place workable solutions.” Australia’s plan for global economic stabilityDr Heather Smith, Australia’s G20 Sherpa and keynote speaker at the event, explained Australia’s five-point Brisbane Action Plan. Australia holds the G20’s 2014 presidency and is responsible for formulating and driving policy for the year. Its plan: 2% GDP growth over five years; attract private infrastructure development; remove obstacles to trade; create jobs and lift participation; and empower development – and how it affects Africa in particular, while hardly innovative, sounds practical and easily accomplished.Australia has chosen one of two policies to spur economic growth. The first one, austerity, would impose fiscal responsibility on debtor nations and depress economic growth, especially in Africa where economies are based on mining and agriculture. Austerity drives down the prices of precious metals by artificially curbing demand.Smith explained that Australia has chosen to stimulate growth and prosperity instead. She is cautious enough to counsel care. Australia’s path, and that of the G20, relies on government monetary and trade policy working together to offset the risks of inflation and sovereign debt. Uncontrolled, these could cause a more damaging future financial crisis.Smith explained that Australia believes open and free trade is the best way to lift Africa out of poverty. “Africa should be a growing part of the world economy; we should be lifting more people out of poverty in Africa. But we will not do it with all the trade barriers that exist between African countries.”With the rolling presidency Australia’s for 2014, it has made formulating a structured G20 African policy a priority. Using the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) – a continent-wide vision and policy framework meant to accelerate economic co-operation and integration among African countries, adopted by the African Union in 2001 – G20 countries have engaged piecemeal and on an individual basis with Africa’s countries.Australian trade with Africa has been growing; its two largest African trade partners are Nigeria and South Africa and that trade now makes up a third of its foreign direct investment. Trade with Africa is not a philanthropic act on Australia’s part, nor on that of its G20 partners. It is a policy deigned to rebalance the global economy; as the economies of Europe and North America wane, Africa is seen as a new centre of demand.According to IMF research, emerging and developing markets will overtake established economies within a few years. “Asia’s middle class gave rise to the Asian Tiger economies. We see the same patterns in Africa. The African Development Bank numbers Africa’s middle class at 350 million, and it is growing. Open borders have transformed the world, and it will transform Africa. Today Africa is 30% more open to trade than it was in 1960 because governments understand the importance of free trade.”Australia’s five-point plan is intended as a guide to strengthen co-operation between developed northern economies and emerging and growing nations. Smith believes that improved infrastructure leads to improved trade, investment and employment and will eventually empower skilled workers. Opening Africa’s borders to improve trade efficiencyAccording to the World Trade Organization, cross-border trade has grown by 4% in 2014, to levels not seen before 2008. If that growth can be sustained, Africa can, trading with itself and the rest of the world, lift itself out of poverty.“G20 policies on cross-border trade will affect inequality by lifting more people out of poverty. If governments can be convinced to take action to free up trade, especially across borders, it will have a ripple effect on development issues. By not stopping trucks at the border you improve the efficiency of the supply chain, create jobs along the chain and positively affect issues like food security as well.”The core goal of Australia’s plan is stabilising the world’s economy: to return it to a semblance of its pre-2008 efficiency. The G20 believes the open markets will create opportunities for businesses in Japan to sell its TVs to customers in Europe, while a farmer in Kenya will be able to ship produce to America, without losing a third along inefficient supply routes, as easily as selling to Kenyans.“Stability as it the core of what we are trying to achieve,” Smith concluded. “We accept that the financial crisis was created in developed economies but we are all connected. We need Africa to be part of the change because the poorest of the poor were the hardest hit.”The world still faces global challenges, but as Africa has prospered members of the industrialised G20 nations have begun to look at the continent not as a charity case, but instead as the newest, most promising market, holding the promise to stabilise and rebuild the world’s economy.last_img read more

Rajasthan farmers issue ultimatum

first_imgWith the farmers’ protest in Madhya Pradesh spilling over to the border districts in Rajasthan, farmers in Chittorgarh and Pratapgarh served an ultimatum on the State government to meet their demands for better crop prices, loan waivers and agricultural pensions.Amid the mounting anger following the death of five farmers in police firing in Mandsaur, farmers’ bodies agitating under the banner of Kisan Sangharsh Samiti announced that an indefinite strike would be launched in Pratapgarh next week if the government fails to address the issues raised by them.Condolence meetings were organised at Krishi Upaj Mandis and elsewhere in the two districts to pay homage to the deceased farmers. Farmers also halted trucks carrying fruits and vegetables and spilled milk on the streets on Tuesday and Wednesday, while trading activities at the Krishi Mandis were stopped.Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi landed at Dabok airport near Udaipur on Thursday and left for Mandsaur via Nimbahera in Chittorgarh district riding pillion on a motorcycle. He was stopped at Neemuch near the Rajasthan-Madhya Pradesh border and taken into preventive custody.Rajasthan Pradesh Congress president Sachin Pilot and leaders such as Girija Vyas, Digvijay Singh and Kamal Nath accompanied Mr. Gandhi. Mr. Gandhi was later released in the evening and allowed by the administration to meet the family members of farmers at the inter-State border.Mr. Gandhi said Congress was in solidarity with the families of farmers who had lost their lives and he would raise the farmers’ issues in the Parliament. “In [Narendra] Modi’s india, Rs.1.10 lakh crore of bad debts of corporate houses are written off, but not a single rupee of farmers’ loans is waived…Farmers are toiling to produce food for the country,” he said.In a tweet earlier in the day, Mr. Gandhi said the Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh governments were “doing their best to prevent me” from entering M.P. and meeting the families of farmers killed in Mandsaur.Police have increased vigil in Pratapgarh district, which is barely 30 km away from Mandsaur. A delegation of farmers met Pratapgarh Collector Neha Giri and submitted a memorandum listing the demands for higher minimum support prices for their crops, inclusion of local crops in the MSP list and waiver of electricity bills.The All India Kisan Sabha, which is the CPI(M)’s farmers’ wing, has also decided to launch a State-wide agitation in support of the demands of farmers in Madhya Pradesh. “Problems of farmers in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are identical. We will burn the effigies of M.P. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan in the demonstrations to be held in different towns on Friday,” AIKS joint secretary Sanjay Madhav told The Hindu.Rebel Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ghanshyam Tiwari also warned that the discontent among farmers would create the similar problems for the Rajasthan government as those in Madhya Pradesh. “The farmers will adopt the path of agitation if the government ignores their plight. It is high time proper incentives were provided to the agriculture sector,” he said.last_img read more

Samjhauta Express blast case: Hearing postponed to March 18

first_imgThe hearing on the Samjhauta Express blast case of 2007 in the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court here was on Thursday has been postponed for March 18.Advocate Mukesh Garg, one of the counsel for the accused Swami Aseemanand, told reporters “Hearing was scheduled for today, however, the district bar association of Panchkula had suspended work on some local issue. In wake of this, the court adjourned the matter and the fixed the next date of hearing on March 18.”The trial in the case has concluded and the court was expected to deliver a verdict on March 11. However, Rahila Wakeel, a Pakistani national and daughter of one of the victims of the blast had on March 11, filed a petition through advocate Momin Malik, to get her statement recorded as witness in the 12-year-old case.Former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) member Aseemanand is the prime accused in the case. The blasts on the Samjhauta Express, near Panipat, on February 18, 2007, and the subsequent fire in the coaches killed 68 passengers and injured a dozen. Those killed included Indian civilians and government officials, and a large number of Pakistani nationals.The initial investigation was carried out by the Railway Police and the Haryana Police. Later, the Union Home Ministry handed over the probe to the NIA in July 2010.last_img read more