first_imgCYPRUS star Marcos Baghdatis battled through to the second round at the Chengdu Open in China as he completed a rain-delayed match against Pablo Carreno Busta.Play was suspended on Tuesday evening with the score finely balanced at 5-5 in the third set, but at the resumption, Baghdatis clinched the decisive tie-break for a 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 7-6(5) victory in just over three hours.“The whole match yesterday and today was very tough,” Baghdatis was quoted by atpworldtour as saying. “I’m happy with my win. I think I was a bit lucky or maybe better than him in the important points. I made less unforced errors and it paid off today. I’m thrilled to be in the second round.”World No. 36 Baghdatis is back in action for the first time since his defeat to Frenchman Gael Monfils in the US Open fourth round. The Cypriot is chasing his first ATP World Tour title since 2010 and goes on to face Viktor Troicki for a quarter-final berth.last_img read more

first_imgArticle published by Morgan Erickson-Davis This story was reported by Mongabay’s Latin America (Latam) team and was first published in Spanish on our Latam site on Sept. 26, 2018. Agriculture, Crops, Deforestation, Drug Trade, Environment, Forests, Illegal Trade, National Parks, Primary Forests, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Tropical Forests Last month, an aircraft was intercepted in Bahuaja-Sonene National Park by the Anti-Drug Directorate of the National Police of Peru. It was carrying multiple passengers, who engaged in gunfire with police.A bag containing 30 kilograms of alkaloid cocaine found inside the plane.Cocaine is produced from the leaves of coca plants. Bahuaja-Sonene has the largest area of illegal coca cultivation of any protected area, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), with at least 118 hectares (292 acres) of coca grown within the park. LIMA, Peru — A joint operation by law enforcement agencies in Peru managed to seize 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of cocaine from a plane intercepted in Bahuaja-Sonene National Park last month.The operation on Sept. 25 built on intelligence reports from earlier in the week that identified a clandestine airstrip inside the protected park, in an area near the district of San Pedro de Putina Punco, in Sandia province. The agencies involved in the operation included the Peruvian armed forces; the office of the National Prosecutor under the Public Ministry; and the special investigation unit of the police’s anti-narcotics directorate, known by its Spanish acronym, Dirandro.The plane with Bolivian registration number CP-2936. Image courtesy of Dirandro.According to information provided by Dirandro, the drug-trafficking criminal organization Los Injertos de Tambopata planned to transport the cocaine from the park to Bolivia.Based on that tip, Janampa Oscategui, a provincial prosecutor specializing in fighting the illicit drug trade, met with Dirandro staff and armed forces officers on the morning of Sept. 25. They then went by helicopter to the suspected location of the 600-meter (2,000-foot) airstrip. At 8:30 a.m., they heard the sound of an aircraft approaching, and upon investigating found a white plane, carrying the Bolivian registration number CP-2936, with 15 people on board.A confrontation ensued between the officers and several passengers during which gunfire was exchanged. During the 10-minute clash, the pilot attempted to accelerate the plane for takeoff, but it was halted by police. The officers eventually seized control of the plane, along with a GPS unit and a sack containing “approximately 30 kg of alkaloid cocaine,” according to a statement from Dirandro. However, the passengers were able to flee and no arrests have been made. Dirandro officials say they are still searching for the individuals involved.The police found 30 kilos (66 pounds) of cocaine inside the aircraft. Image courtesy of Dirandro.A GPS unit was found inside the aircraft. Image courtesy of Dirandro.According to police, the syndicate Los Injertos de Tambopata operates mainly in the valley of the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro rivers (also called Vraem), carrying out “activities of processing, acquisition, storage, security, transportation and marketing of alkaloid cocaine.”The group also operates in the regions of Cusco, Ayacucho, Apurimac and Puno. According to Dirandro, they send the drugs to Bolivia on board small planes that depart from “uncontrolled airfields located in the jurisdiction of the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park.”This satellite image shows the clandestine airstrip discovered inside Bahuaja-Sonene National Park. Image by Planet Labs.“It is a very serious matter that the Bahuaja Sonene National Park is being eaten away by drug trafficking and illegal mining,” Alicia Abanto, assistant director for the environment and indigenous peoples at the Ombudsman’s Office, told Mongabay. “Although the operation was important (and without ignoring the outcomes), we cannot deny that the mafias have the control of the area, besides the territorial control capacity of the National Service of Natural Protected Areas (Sernanp) and the police force.”Abanto said ever-expanding fields of coca crops and the proliferation of clandestine airstrips “show the urgency of a resounding change in the management of territorial control in that area.” She called on the country’s prime minister, César Villanueva, to lead that change of strategy.Abanto said she had previously sent letters to the National Prosecutor’s office, the Ministry of the Interior, and the national tax administration to urge them to combat illegal mining. She now wants to the authorities to focus on the groups controlling illegal mining and drug trafficking inside protected natural areas.Bahuaja-Sonene in dangerCocaine is produced from the leaves of coca plants. Deforestation for coca production is seen as a major threat to Bahuaja-Sonene, as well as the district of Putina Punco. Much of the district is located within the park, and the remaining area sits within its buffer zone.For years, coffee crops in the areas outside the park have been increasingly replaced by illicit coca crops. In the Puno forest, for instance, the area devoted to coffee crops has decreased by more than 70 percent in the past six years, which illegal coca cultivation increased by more than 50 percent during the same period.Coca cultivation has already encroached into Bahuaja-Sonene itself. The national park has the largest area of illegal coca cultivation of any protected area, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), with at least 118 hectares (292 acres) of coca grown within the park.Map and satellite imagery showing the density of coca fields (top) and resultant deforestation (bottom) within a portion of Bahuaja-Sonene National Park. Images courtesy of UNODC 2017/MAAP 2015.Authorities say that in addition to deforestation for coca farms, about 5 square kilometers (1.9 square miles) of forest inside the park have been cleared for airstrips and other activities related to drug trafficking.In 2015, Bahuaja-Sonene park rangers identified a clandestine airstrip inside the park. Image by Digital Globe WorldView.Reported threats of violence have increased in tandem with the spread of coca cultivation in Bahuaja-Sonene. In 2015, four rangers working in the park and who had an office in Putina Punco were removed from their posts due to constant threats. Sernanp’s director said these threats also reached the former head of the park, who consequently resigned.center_img Banner image: The plane used to transport cocaine out of Bahuaja-Sonene National Park, which was seized by police Sept. 25. Photo courtesy of Dirandro.Feedback: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

first_imgScores of people flocked the Anna Regina Community Centre Ground for Red Square Vodka’s “A Night to Remember” last evening.Patrons were well-entertained by several artistes, including Guyana’s Baboo, Terry Gajraj and singing sensation Devindra Pooran alongside with veteran Guyanese singer Celia Samaroo and rising stars Vicadi Singh and Steven Ramphal.The action continues on Saturday evening at the University of Guyana, Tain Campus, Berbice and on Sunday, March 4 at the Aracari Resort, Versailles, West Bank Demerara.However, Terry Gajraj as well as the Shakti Strings Orchestra will not be performing at the Aracari Resort due to other engagements.Apart from the renowned artistes mentioned above, the Shakti Strings Orchestra featuring Yoland Nedd, Aamir Khan and Avinash Roopchand on keyboard will definitely set the tone for the evening.The emcee for the evening will be popular radio personality Seegobin. Tickets for the events will be $1000 and will be available at regular ticketing agents.last_img read more

first_imgDear Editor,Even as our teachers undertook a battle for a living wage, information received highlights that many of the teachers who struck may be targeted. The threats suggested that the likelihood of persons from the teaching ranks who had applied for work as temporary Guyana Election Commission (GECOM) staff would be struck off of the approved list if they had been identified in the protests and did not return to work immediately.It is public knowledge that many teachers form the larger group of public servants from which Elections support staff for GECOM are drawn, in keeping with Section 161A (4) of the Constitution, Cap, 1.01.The suggestion that the lists of persons selected by GECOM can be influenced speaks volumes, and must not be taken lightly by any stakeholder. It also raises genuine questions regarding the influence the Coalition may have in light of the highly questionable approach used to select and appoint the Chairman, Justice (R’td) James Patterson, who has made some very biased decisions to date.Be this as it may, the situation brings to light the Government’s conveyed intent, as they seem to take pride in signalling the imposition of a mechanism to manipulate and confuse in attempting to frustrate and ‘bamboozle’ many stakeholders at the upcoming November 12th Local Government Elections.On the side of the Elections Commission, a review of GECOM’s Official Manual for Returning Officers and other Election Officials for the 2018 Local Government Elections lends to the similar conclusions of intent of causing confusion or sub-standard approach to the review of the guidance manual.It is stated on page twenty (20) that: “The number of Candidates on the Proportional Representation List must not be less than the number of Councillors for the Local Authority Area, or more than such number plus ten”.Accordingly, this translates that any contesting party or group can submit a list of twenty-eight candidates in an LAA such as Eccles-Ramsburg NDC, which has a total of eighteen constituency seats.However, on page 28 of the same manual, the Proportional Representation component is thus addressed by GECOM: “As was previously stated, each Voluntary Group or Political Party must submit a list with ten (10) or more names of Candidates than the total number of Councillors for the Proportional Representation Component for the specific Local Authority Area.”The latter can be interpreted to mean in the case of the Municipality of Georgetown, which has a total of 15 seats for the Proportional Representation Component: that a political party must submit a list of candidates of not less than fifteen and not more than twenty-five (25). This, compared to the previously mentioned 28 (on page 20), is indeed misleading and is proof of incompetence.There are serious partisan issues with the recruiting of staff under the GECOM Secretariat. Disappointingly, the current Chairman of the Commission has not done much work to demonstrate a balanced and transparent approach as a corrective measure. It is widely known that persons with excellent records, who worked with GECOM since 1992 at various levels, including Assistant Presiding Officers, have not been selected, and the treatment of their application smacks of blatant racial discrimination.In the case of one such person whose application was rejected by GECOM, that person previously worked as follows:1. 1994: As Deputy Electoral Registrar and Deputy Returning Officer.2. 2001: As Core Trainer; Disciplined Services Ballot Attendant, (for both Regional and National Elections). 3. 2006: As Trainer, Regional and National Elections; Disciplined Services Ballot Attendant at the General and Regional Elections.4. 2008: As Supervisor, East Bank Demerara for House-to-House Registration.5. 2011: As Trainer, Regional and General Elections; Deputy Returning Officer (Supernumerary attached to the Returning Officer- District 4, at the General and Regional Elections.From the foregoing, one must wonder why such inexplicit decision has been taken by GECOM to reject the application of a person with the outlined experience and level of performance. Clearly, the appointment of Returning Officers is highly questionable, particularly given the fact that many permanent staff at GECOM are now catapulted to being Returning Officers.As for the other positions: Presiding Officers, Polling Clerks, and the many others, GECOM will have to do better.Sincerely,Neil Kumarlast_img read more

first_img Tottenham striker Roberto Soldado Roma could finalise a move to sign Tottenham striker Roberto Soldado before the end of January, according to reports in Italy.Soldado has failed to make any impact at White Hart Lane following his £26m move from Valencia back in August 2013.The Spanish forward came under fire once again last week following his shocking miss against Burnley in the FA Cup and has only scored one goal in the Premier League this season.Italian newspaper Leggo is reporting that Roma are making strong moves to sign the 29-year-old as they are expected to lose influential striker Mattia Destro – who is being strongly linked with a move to Arsenal.Roma boss Rudi Garcia does not want to be left short of attacking options and will be hoping that Soldado will want a change of scenery to hopefully get his career back on track. 1last_img read more

first_imgDefense attorney Bradley Brunon suggested Clarkson herself wrote the letters in an effort to get a loan of money from someone who had advanced her funds before. Donna Clarkson acknowledged her daughter had borrowed money from a man in San Francisco and said the letters were found after the actress’s death. One person whose name was on a letter testified it was a forgery. Marc Hirschfeld said he was formerly an executive vice president of casting at NBC and had cast Clarkson in at least one role a number of years ago. Hirschfeld said one letter with his purported signature was fake. It mentioned an NBC job title that does not exist and was written on phony letterhead, he testified. Earlier in the day, Phil Spector’s lawyers recalled to the witness stand a scientist critical of blood analysis done by the Los Angeles County sheriff’s laboratory. LOS ANGELES – The mother of slain actress Lana Clarkson took the witness stand in Phil Spector’s murder trial Monday and testified her daughter bought seven pairs of shoes for a new job as a nightclub hostess about 12 hours before she died. Donna Clarkson also identified a series of glamour photographs of the actress that were taken about a month before her death. The unexpected testimony was elicited by the prosecution in an apparent attempt to counter the defense claim that Clarkson committed suicide when she was shot to death at Spector’s Alhambra mansion in 2003. Spector, 67, a legendary music producer whose “Wall of Sound” technique revolutionized rock music, is charged with murdering Clarkson. Clarkson’s mother had been called to the witness stand by a defense lawyer for a completely different purpose. The attorney wanted her to identify letters found in her daughter’s home that were apparent forgeries designed to indicate strong prospects for an acting career. James Pex, retired director of the Oregon State Police Crime Lab, cited documents showing the sheriff’s lab sought certification from the American Society of Crime Lab directors but failed an initial test for blood analysis in 2003 over procedures for identifying crusted blood. “In determining between a homicide and a suicide the blood patterns on the hands are pivotal,” Pex testified. That led to demonstrations by both prosecutor Alan Jackson and Plourd of how the gun might have been held when it fired. Plourd held up both his hands to his mouth as if clutching a gun. Jackson held out his hands palms forward in a defensive motion. Pex said one thing was certain: “Blood doesn’t go around corners. It travels in a straight line.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

first_imgNEW ORLEANS – In death, she became a symbol of government failure – an anonymous woman slumped in a wheelchair, abandoned outside one of the city’s overwhelmed hurricane shelters. One year after her death, her family gathered to remember her, laying roses at her grave and preparing for a memorial. “She was a nobody in life. She was just an ordinary woman, but God made sure she’d become someone in death,” said Veronica White, a friend of the family of Ethel Freeman, 91, who died last Sept. 1 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Her son, Herbert Freeman Jr., had wheeled her to the city’s convention center from their flooded home, expecting buses to carry them to safety. The buses arrived Sept. 4, but by then Ethel Freemen had been dead for four days. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.After she died, her son tried to cover her face with a towel, but her arms and body stuck out. Someone offered Freeman a poncho, and he laid it over her. The image was captured by numerous photographers and transmitted around the world, becoming one of the most memorable photos of the disaster. When the buses arrived, Freeman son begged the driver to take the woman’s body, but he was instead forced to board without her, leaving her in the wheelchair, pushed to the side of the cavernous building, a piece of paper attached to her clothes bearing his cell phone number. After being evacuated to a shelter in Birmingham, Ala., Freeman saw her shroud-covered body on television and recoiled: “I felt angry about them exploiting her body like that.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe Christmas Truce of 1914 proved that peace is possibleAll the comments conveyed the idea that regardless of how it directly affected them, Sept. 11 touched them deeply. As one young commentator who celebrated his 11th birthday on the same day five years ago wrote, “so even though it’s my day to celebrate, I will never forget September 11th, 2001.” To read all the comments in their entirety or contribute your own please go to our forum at www. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Editor’s note: You left comments on our “Remembering 9/11” forum that ranged from uplifting to poignant. While some touched on the United States’ involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, others revealed how different an ordinary birthday could be when it fell on that day. One commentator wrote “September 11th changed that day, not just for me but for the world. No longer unremarkable, it became a defining moment in history.” Several said they have family members in the military on active duty, and one reader “across the pond” left a brief note, writing that “my heart goes out to all.” last_img read more

first_imgHowever, the choice has not been popular with fans who have been highly critical of Xhaka’s performances in Arsenal’s midfield.And Keown has echoed supporters’ views, saying Xhaka should not have been given the armband as he should not be a guaranteed starting in Arsenal’s first XI.“This is a massive call and I think perhaps he [Emery] has got it wrong,” the legendary former centre-back told talkSPORT on Friday.“This is really going to divide the fans. There are times when Xhaka goes missing in midfield, he’s given penalties away… he must be an incredible character off the pitch!“It’s surprising, particularly how he was booed off the pitch less than a week ago.“It’s a brave decision by the manager, he’s picked him every time he’s available so he clearly believes in the player, but I’m surprised, I must say.“You need to be sure the captain is going to be in the team and he’s on borrowed time. There are others in that group, Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi, Dani Ceballos, who are starting to progress, so if Xhaka is still going to be a permanent fixture than I’m surprised by that.“I would have gone for Aubameyang, he would have been a pretty good fit. It might have given him a little more extra responsibility. He’s doing fantastically well at the moment and he’s secure in the team, he’s a regular.”Keown has also taken aim at Emery’s management and team selection, saying the blame will fall on him if his Xhaka gamble doesn’t pay off. getty 3 Granit Xhaka is now the permanent Arsenal captain – and fans are not happy And the Invincible has told Xhaka the improvements he and all Arsenal fans will want to see in his game now he has been made captain.On being voted skipper by his team-mates, Keown said: “Within that dressing room, clearly, obviously, he’s a leader because that’s why they voted for him.“The players want him, but it’s interesting the manager couldn’t see that for himself and he needed to throw it to the players.“We have to respect that, but really it’s about the performance on the pitch and I want more from him in midfield.“I don’t want silly, crazy tackles, I want him to sit in front of the defence, I want to be picking out those diagonal passes, I want to see him talking to players, cajoling players and in their ears. I want to see those leadership skills on the pitch, not just in the dressing room. I haven’t seen that so far.“The vote on confidence, the actual armband, can do big things for you, so I hope it does that for his game.”Listen back to a clip of Arsenal legend Martin Keown on talkSPORT above Keown has told Xhaka to be more disciplined in Arsenal’s midfield and prove his leadership on the pitch AFP or licensors 3 Arsenal Invincibles legend Martin Keown says Unai Emery has ‘got it wrong’ by making Granit Xhaka his club captain, telling talkSPORT Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would have been a better choice.The Swiss midfielder has been given the Gunners armband permanently, following a vote from his team-mates.Xhaka had been the club’s acting captain following the departures of Laurent Koscielny, Petr Cech and Aaron Ramsey over the summer, and he will make his first outing as permanent skipper against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday. 3 Unai Emery has faced criticism for Arsenal’s lack of improvement since his appointment over a year ago “It’s a bold move from Emery and he better get it right,” he continued.“I was just reading the statistics about the number of shots the opposition have had at Arsenal’s goal this season, the number of unforced errors – Arsenal are the top of all these lists, and it’s because Emery is not getting the balance right with his team.“He’s been in the job a year now and things are going to have to improve away from home. It’s a massive test on Monday [against Man United].“If you get results, everybody stands by the decisions, but this is a massive call and I think perhaps he’s got it wrong.”Keown has already made it clear he is no fan of Xhaka.Speaking to talkSPORT earlier this month, the three-time Premier League blasted the Swiss’ defensive ability – ‘He is SO BAD at tackling!’ – and said he ‘does more damage than good’ on the pitch. Getty Images – Getty last_img read more

first_imgYoga Bikram Yoga That other kind of yoga ummmm…… I have three kids three and under. Like I have time on the weekend to come up with 172 anythings…let alone something requiring a scintilla of creativity, save channeling my inner Andy Warhol at the children’s museum yesterday — 4 likes on Facebook for the uncensored version, yo. So, instead, check out this Workplace Flexibility Kit from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. It purports to provide 172 resources (case studies, fact and tip sheets, issue briefs, reports, articles, websites, other toolkits, and frequently-asked questions) all designed to enhance workplace flexibility (e.g., time, location, and manner in which an employee works).last_img read more