Colombian Government Gives Green Light For Rebel Hostage Release

first_imgBy Dialogo November 25, 2009 The Colombian government has authorized the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Catholic Church to make “the necessary contacts” with leftist rebels for the release of two soldiers the guerrillas said they are prepared to free unilaterally. That news coincided with rumors that one of the prisoners due to be released, army Cpl. Pablo Emilio Moncayo, had managed to escape from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. “The government will provide the necessary guarantees and reiterates its readiness and willingness for this process to be completed as soon as possible,” President Alvaro Uribe’s administration said in a statement announcing the authorizations. FARC commanders said months ago that they were willing to unilaterally free Moncayo and Pvt. Josue Daniel Calvo and deliver the body of police Maj. Julian Ernesto Guevara, who died while in captivity. Until last week, Uribe had been insisting that the rebels hand over all 25 of the soldiers and police they are holding, but the FARC wants to trade 23 of those captives for some 500 jailed guerrillas, a few of whom have been extradited to the United States. The Colombian government has agreed to the FARC’s request that opposition Sen. Piedad Cordoba – instrumental in earlier prisoner releases – join Red Cross and church representatives on the mission to receive the soldiers. Cpl. Moncayo was captured on Dec. 21, 1997, in a rebel attack on the southern town of Cerro Patascoy and is one of the two soldiers who have spent the most time in captivity. His father, teacher Gustavo Moncayo, said Tuesday that a person he declined to identify had told him authorities had indications his son escaped from the insurgents. “Last night I received a call that a guerrilla communication was possibly intercepted in which they say Pablo Emilio escaped,” the elder Moncayo told Caracol Radio. Gustavo Moncayo has become known as the “peace walker” for trekking long distances on foot while wearing chains around his neck to call attention to the plight of his son and the other hostages. Uribe and the FARC accuse each other of having no real interest in negotiations and the president has instead favored rescue operations to free the hostages. One such mission last year, in which Colombian troops disguised as Red Cross workers freed former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, three U.S. military contractors and 11 others, was a resounding success. Yet hostage families say the risks are too great, pointing to the deaths of 11 lawmakers during a clash several years ago between the rebels and army soldiers.last_img read more

Dix Hills Man Nabbed for Fleeing Crash That Hurt 2

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Dix Hills man has been arrested for allegedly running away from a car that he had crashed into a truck, leaving behind two injured passengers last week, Suffolk County police said.William Koster was charged Sunday with leaving the scene of an accident.Police said the 31-year-old was driving a Hyundai Sonata eastbound on Grand Boulevard in Deer Park, when he crashed into a Volvo 18-wheel tractor trailer shortly before midnight Monday, Feb. 24.His two passengers, 20-year-old Daniel Garcia of North Babylon and 33-year-old Jani Martinez of Bay Shore, were treated at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip.The truck driver, Christopher Bertovich, 49, of Pennsylvania, was not injured.Bail for Koster was set at $5,000 cash or $15,000 bond. He is due back in court Friday.last_img read more

NFF Working to Immortalising Amodu, Keshi

first_imgAmodu, the only person to have coached the Super Eagles in four different periods, was the National Technical Director before his death on Saturday, June 11.Keshi, the longest-serving captain of the team who also coached the team to win the Africa Cup of Nations and reach the Round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup, passed on three days earlier.“The NFF is liasing with the government through the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, with regards to the immortalisation of the two icons of our football who died last month. Both men contributed immensely to the development of Nigeria football and will never be forgotten.“The NFF board has immense confidence in your person that you will be able to fit quite well into the shoes left by late Coach Amodu and perhaps come up with great ideas to enhance the workings of the Technical department,” Sanusi told Bewarang, who is president of the Nigeria Football Coaches Association.On Wednesday, Mr. Abdulrafiu Yusuf (Assistant Director, Technical) and Dr. Robinson Okosun (Head, Psychology Unit) represented the NFF at the 40th day Fidau prayer for the soul of the departed Amodu at his home town in Okpella, Edo State.The final burial rites for late Stephen Keshi will begin on Wednesday, July 27 with a lying-in-state in Abuja, and culminate in internment at his hometown, Illa, Delta State on Friday, July 29.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Keno EdhowoThe Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) announced on Thursday that it is working on immortaliing coaching legends, Amodu Shaibu and Stephen Keshi, who both passed on last month.While Amodu has been buried almost immediately after his death according to Islamic rites, Keshi is to begin his final journey home with an elaborate state burial starting in Benin City on July 27.NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi reiterated this while receiving in his office yesterday, the newly-appointed National Technical Director of the federation, Mr. Bitrus Bewarang.last_img read more

Japanese New Year Celebration Set For January 26

first_imgSubmitted by Oshogatsu in Olympia: Japanese New Year CelebrationThe Olympia-Kato Sister City Association invites the public to attend its Japanese New Year Celebration, Oshogatsu in Olympia. The event takes place Saturday, January 26 from 10am-4pm at The Olympia Center in Downtown Olympia.Oshogatsu in Olympia creates the atmosphere of a Japanese New Year celebration and brings the community together to share in a unique experience and learn about Japananese culture. Live entertainment on the mainstage will showcase Traditional Japanese dance and music, taiko drumming and cosplay vocal performances. The family-focused event includes a variety of cultural activities and make & take crafts, demonstrations and an Art Exhibition where visitors can view and purchase Japanese calligraphy, sumi paintings, paper cuttings and traditional crafts.Featured this year in our “Taste of Japan” Kitchen is a varied menu of Japanese foods prepared and served on-site by Hiroshi’s Restaurant & Catering of Seattle. Come hungry – because the aromas from the kitchen are sure to entice you!At the heart of this year’s Oshogatsu event is the Sakura Friendship Ceremony commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the “Gift of Trees” given by Japan to the U.S. as a symbol of friendship. Thousands of Japanese sakura (flowering cherry trees) still line the tidal basin of our nation’s capitol in Washington D.C. The Olympia-Kato Sister City Association, in cooperation with the Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle, will commemorate this historic gift and the enduring relationship between our countries with this special ceremony. Japanese music, dance and a live calligraphy performance will enhance the significance of this event.Visitors to Oshogatsu 2013 are invited to sample a taste of fresh Japanese mochi and experience “Mochitsuki”– the ceremonial making of the chewy rice cakes that are traditional fare for Japanese New Year. A professional Mochitsuki troupe will elevate mochi-pounding to an art through their use of traditional implements, chanting, and choreographed movements.In an impressive display of dexterity and endurance, troupe members will swing large wooden mallets in a steady rhythm to pound steaming batches of cooked rice into a smooth, stretchy dough. As the pace increases, they’ll demonstrate quick reflexes and expert timing as they flip the dough by hand between each crash of the mallets.Event admission is free with a suggested donation of $2/person or $5/family. Proceeds benefit the Olympia-Kato Sister City Association (OKSCA), a local non-profit group whose mission is to promote cross-cultural understanding between Japan and America through community events, educational outreach, and cultural exchanges. For information and performance schedules for Oshogatsu in Olympia, or to learn more about the Sister City Association, visit www.celebratejapan.org. Facebook20Tweet0Pin0last_img read more

Hotel Proposal Back Before Red Bank Planners

first_imgBy John BurtonRED BANK –– A development proposal to construct a six-story hotel at the borough’s entrance is back again before the Planning Board, with board members expressing some issues with the plan.Five years since its plan was first proposed RBank Capital, LLC, returned Monday night to seek approval to construct a six-story, 76-room Hampton Inn and Suites Hotel on the corner of state Highway 35 and Rector Place.The project is intended for a former Exxon gas station on the nearly 1-acre property overlooking the Swimming River at the northern entrance to the borough on the southbound side of Route 35, at Coopers Bridge. The site has been vacant for nearly two decades and has deteriorated.“It is an eyesore,” acknowledged Martin A. McGann Jr. the lawyer representing RBank Capital.However, the location has been mostly remediated, with the underground tanks removed, and is at the point that it is usable for this permitted use, according to Peter Ritchings, an environmental consultant testifying on behalf of the applicant. “Ground water contamination remains at the site,” Ritchings added, for about 5,000 square feet. Remediation is continuing.An architectural rendering of the proposed Hampton Inn and Suites Hotel for Route 35 and Rector Place in Red Bank.The plans call to construct the hotel to stand about 75 feet from the mean water line of the river’s shore. That would mean the actual structure would stand from foundation to rooftop at 82.2 feet. That is over what is permitted by ordinance and requires the board to grant a variance for height; but the excess is not so much as to trigger the need for a use “D” variance, which only the Zoning Board of Adjustment can issue and would require a higher burden of proof for the applicant to meet to get the variance. The site also requires a variance for parking, providing 75 spaces, while 78 are required; and a number of other variances and design waivers for signs, front- and rear-property setbacks, and for other shortcomings under borough requirements.The amount of relief required for this project caused board member Daniel Mancuso to ask, “Is there anything you’re proposing that is within our ordinances?”For some board members the real sticking point was plans to allow traffic traveling north on Route 35 to make a direct left-hand turn into the site, meaning vehicles would be crossing two lanes of southbound traffic to enter the property.Mayor Pasquale Menna challenged the traffic engineer Gary Dean and attorney McGann by asking if he could name another spot along the highway up to Garden State Parkway entrance 117 where traffic can make a left turn like this. “I can’t,” Dean responded.Board member Guy Maratta said that by making that turn, “Somebody is going to die. Mark my words.”A former gas station at the site.Maratta implored the developer to improve the situation and not create a future hazard as, “traffic is only going to get worse, not better,” along the roadway.The site has been vacant for as long as it has because, “This is one of the hardest sites you and I have seen in (land use) development,” given the constraints of the property, McGann told Maratta.“I’m asking the board to be reasonable,” to see this “eyesore” developed, McGann added.McGann went on to tell the board the state Department of Transportation has sole jurisdiction and has approved establishing a left turn lane at the property entrance.The proposed hotel will have 76 rooms ranging in size from 330 to 440 square feet, featuring an outdoor pool and a gym area. There will be no restaurant or banquet accommodations; the location is intended primarily for business and other transient guests. The developers have abandoned the previous plans to construct a boat dock, and instead are planning a boardwalk area that extends more than 200 feet along the riverfront, with benches and accessible to the public.The board plans to continue hearing this application at its Dec. 19 meeting.When RBank Capital had first brought its plan in 2011, it became mired in controversy and contention. There ware issues about whether the proposal should be heard by the planning board or zoning board given the scope and type of project. The borough council actually took to revising its zoning ordinance, hoping to clarify the debate. And the board heard from objectors including a borough resident who took issue with the size of the project given its proximity to a residential neighborhood and the environmental impact to the riverfront area. Another objector, who retained a lawyer to combat the proposal, was the owners of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Eatontown, who feared this location would siphon off its business travelers.The developer eventually withdrew the application and reapplied with a slightly modified plan this fall.last_img read more

Rebels closing in on Kootenay Title, winner meets Osoyoos

first_imgBy Bruce FuhrThe Nelson Daily SportsThe Castlegar Rebels are within a game of playing for the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League title.First period goals by Ryan Aynsley and Diego Bartlett would be all the scoring the Rebels would need as Castlegar edged Fernie Ghostriders 3-1 in Kootenay Conference Final action Saturday night in the Sunflower City.After taking game one in Fernie, the Rebels took care of business on home ice, sweeping the two games in Castlegar to grab a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.Game five is Monday in Fernie.“We’re very happy to get the wins (but) now we have to figure out a way to get back to Fernie and get a win which is a tall order against a very good team,” Rebel head coach Steve Junker told The Nelson Daily.“Winning the fourth game is always the toughest but we have to figure out a way to get it done cause opportunities like these don’t come along every day and you don’t want to let a team like Fernie get any momentum.”Getting the two first period goals was huge for the Rebels. It got the home crowd into the game. The players could relax playing with the lead. However, Junker feels the ability of the Rebels to keep the high-octane Rider offence under control was the key to sweeping the two games at home.“To completely shutdown their offence is a tall order,” Junker, making a difference in his first season coaching the Rebels, explained. “Guys like (Scott) Morriseau, (Thomas) Abenante and (Cale) Wright are great players so limiting their chances is key.”Morriseau and Abenante are one, two in KIJHL playoff scoring combing for 60 points.Luke Richardson scored in the second period for Fernie to cut the lead to 2-1. Morriseau and Abenante assisted on the goals.But Alex Ross slammed the door on the Rider offence in the third, and when Spencer Brodt scored into the empty net the Rebels were on their way to the win.After getting out shot 17-9 in the first period, Fernie pushed the envelope in the next two periods as the teams tied 32-32 in shots.Tempers flared with 55 seconds remaining in the second frame as referee Shawn Peel handed out 38 minutes in penalties.Aynsley and Brodt each finished with two points for Castlegar.If a game six is necessary it will be played Tuesday in Castlegar. Game time 7:30 p.m.Coyotes wrap up Okanagan title SundaySteve Sasyniuk scored twice to lead the Osoyoos Coyotes to a 4-2 victory over the Grizzlies Sunday night in Okanagan Conference Final in Revelstoke.The win gives the Desert Dogs the series 4-2. Osoyoos jumped to a 2-0 lead, increased the margin to 3-1 after 40 minutes en route to the victory. Jason Bell and Thierry Martine also scored for the Coyotes. Bruce Silvera and Brad Friedrich replied for Revelstoke which was unable to defend its 2010 KIJHL title. Saturday, Ross Mancuso and Sam Nigg scored second period goals to spark the Osoyoos to a 4-2 win in the South Okanagan City.Taylor House and Steve Sasyniuk also scored for the Coyotes, which lead the best-of-seven series 3-2.Devon Hascarl and Lucas Hildebrand replied for the defending KIJHL [email protected]last_img read more

Nelson hammers Castlegar 8-0 in KIJHL exhibition action

first_imgThe Nelson Leafs continued to shine in the exhibition season by adding another victory Tuesday night in Castlegar.The Leafs pounded the hometown Rebels 8-0 in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action at the Castlegar Complex.The game was the first of a home-and-home series. The win runs Nelson’s preseason record to an impressive 4-0 with the final exhibition contest coming Wednesday at the NDCC Arena against the same Rebels. Game time is 7 p.m.In four games during the exhibition campaign, Nelson has outscored its opponents 24-6.The two teams play for the third time in four nights Friday when Nelson travels to the Sunflower City to open the KIJHL regular season against the defending champs.The Leafs return to the NDCC Arena Saturday for the home opener against Creston Valley Thunder Cats.Game time is 7 p.m.last_img read more

DIVERSY HARBOR TAKES ADVANTAGE OF TORRID PACE AND TAGS FAVORED LA TIA LATE TO WIN GRADE II, $200,000 BUENA VISTA STAKES; STEVENS, PROCTOR COMBINE FOR THREE QUARTER LENGTH WIN AT A MILE ON TURF

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 16, 2015)–Diversy Harbor, with Gary Stevens up, took advantage of a blistering early pace scenario and flew late to defeat 3-5 favorite La Tia by three quarters of a length in Monday’s Grade II, $200,000 Buena Vista Stakes, as she covered one mile on turf in 1:34.33.Ridden by eastern-based Joel Rosario, La Tia broke running from the rail and cleared Blingismything by one length around the Club House turn, but “Bling,” who was ridden by Kent Desormeaux turned up the heat down the backside and around the far turn, resulting in fractions of 23.12, 46.49, 1:10.05 and 1:22.05.“Kent chirped to his filly leaving the gate and I said ‘Good, somebody’s gonna put some pressure on La Tia,’” said Stevens, who broke from post position three in a field of six older fillies and mares. “She’s matured a lot, she’s push button. She showed a nice kick. I can’t believe how much she’s matured. Like all good fillies, she’s got a mind of her own, but she’s gotten more cooperative and I’ve gotten to know her a lot better too from working her in the mornings…They really picked it up at the half and I was content to sit back there until I could get out.”Trained by Tom Proctor and owned by Leonard Lavin’s Glen Hill Farm, Diversy Harbor was off at 9-2 and paid $11.80, $3.40 and $3.00. A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Curlin, she’s out of the Storm Cat mare Motokiks. Second, beaten a nose in her most recent start, the Grade III, 1 1/8 miles turf Robert J. Frankel Stakes on Dec. 27, Diversy Harbor improved her record to 10-3-4-1 and with the winner’s share of $120,000, hiked her earnings to $377,190.“He (Kent Desormeaux on Blingismything) did help her on the pace,” said Proctor assistant Aimee Dollase. “That’s what she’s been lacking in a lot of her races, is a pace up front, but she still closes really strong, so that definitely helped us today.”A dedicated front runner, La Tia, ridden by Joel Rosario, had been idle since annexing the Grade I, one mile turf Matriarch on Nov. 30 at Del Mar and was in search of her third consecutive win for trainer Armando de la Cerda.“She was going easy, even when that horse (Blingismything) came to our outside, she was still comfortable,” said Rosario. “She did everything she could but we just got beat. We were second best today.”Off at 3-5, La Tia finished three quarters of a length in front of pace nemesis Blingismything and paid $2.40 and $2.20.Off at 10-1, Blingismything paid $3.60 to show.There is a Pick Six carryover into Friday at Santa Anita of $91,365 and Friday’s total Pick Six pool should exceed $500,000. First post time on Friday is at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m. Santa Anita will be open for simulcast wagering from around the country on Thursday, with admission gates opening at 10 a.m. PICK SIX CARRYOVER INTO FRIDAY OF $91,365, TOTAL POOL SHOULD EXCEED $500,000last_img read more

A long and healthy life for all South Africans

first_imgNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN OUTCOME 2In 2030, South Africa’s health system works for everyone. It provides quality care to all, has raised life expectancy to at least 70 years, produced a young generation largely free of HIV infection, and has dramatically reduced infant mortality.   •  Overview•  Document downloads•  Quality basic education•  Health care for all•  Safety & freedom from fear•  Economy & employment•  A skilled workforce•  Economic infrastructure•  Vibrant rural communities•  Sustainable human settlements•  Accountable local government•  Natural environment•  South Africa in the world•  Efficient public service•  Inclusive social protection•  Nation building, social cohesion Health care – DownloadsFind out more about the National Development Plan.• National Development Plan – full text• National Development Plan – Chapter 11: Promoting health• Medium-Term Strategic Framework 2014 to 2019 – Outcome 2: A long and healthy life for all South Africans• Department of Health Strategic Plan 2014 to 2019• Infographic: Promoting health Health care – The visionA health system that works for everyone and produces positive health outcomes is not out of reach.The National Development Plan’s vision is that, in 2030, life expectancy of South Africans is at least 70 years. A new generation of under-20s is largely free of HIV, and the burden of disease on the whole population has been significantly reduced.The infant mortality rate is less than 20 deaths per thousand live births, and under-5 mortality rate of less than 30 per thousand.In 2030:• The health system provides quality care to all, either free at the point of service or paid for by publicly provided or privately funded insurance.• The primary and district health system provides universal access with a focus on prevention, education, disease management and treatment.• Hospitals are be effective and efficient, providing quality secondary and tertiary care for those who need it.• More health professionals are on hand, especially in poorer communities.Health care – The challengesAfter South Africa achieved democracy in 1994, the country introduced progressive policies to create a new integrated and comprehensive national health system. Nonetheless, challenges remain.These include:• A complex, quadruple burden of diseases• Serious concerns about the quality of public health care• An ineffective and inefficient health system• Ineffective operational management at the coalface• Spiralling private health care costsQuality health care has mostly been accessible to those who can afford and access it, and not those who need it. Until recently, South Africa’s performance against key health indicators has compared poorly with other countries with similar or less levels of investment and expenditure.Health care – Action requiredIn countries that have succeeded in reforming their health systems, committed leadership in all layers of the health system has been key.The government health system is responsible for maternal health, safe childbirth, vaccination and primary care of children, treatment of widespread infections such as HIV and Aids and tuberculosis, and acute care.Longer-term health outcomes are shaped by factors largely outside the health system: lifestyle, diet and nutritional levels, education, sexual behaviour, exercise, road accidents and the level of violence.The National Development Plan makes recommendations in all of these areas.Priorities include maternal and infant health, disease management, sex education, nutrition, exercise, and combating smoking and alcohol abuse.These are social responsibilities that must be taken seriously by every citizen, and promoted by families and institutions.Specific action includes:• Improved management, especially at institutional level• More and better-trained health professionals• Greater discretion over clinical and administrative matters at facility level, combined with effective accountability• Better patient information systems supporting more decentralised and home-based care models• A focus on maternal and infant health careImproving health care managementInstitutional health care management must change. Complementary reforms should include greater delegation of authority over staffing, shift structures and routine procurement.A district-based approach to primary health care is part of the pilot phase of national health insurance.The health system needs more personnel (including professionals and paramedics), new forms of management authority, and strengthened statutory structures for community representation.HIV and AidsDespite policy mismanagement in the early 2000s, the HIV and Aids epidemic has demonstrated South Africa’s ability to effectively implement a wide-ranging and complex disease-management programme. The health system’s remarkable success in managing the epidemic over recent years is commendable.But we must not be complacent. There is a continuing need for education, prevention, testing and treatment. Lowering the rate of new infections will reduce the demand on the public health system.Even if there are no new infections, there will still be a sizeable number of HIV-positive people requiring treatment, posing continuing challenges for the tuberculosis infection rate and the risk of drug-resistant HIV strains developing. The epidemic and its implications for public policy are likely to remain for at least another generation – possibly two.National health insuranceBuilding a national health insurance system is an important objective. There are four prerequisites to its success: improving the quality of public health care, lowering the relative cost of private care, recruiting more professionals in both the public and private sectors, and developing a health information system that spans public and private health providers. These reforms will take time, require cooperation between the public and private sectors.Health care – Key medium-term goals for 2019The Medium Term Strategic Framework (2014 to 2019) identifies the following sub-outcomes to achieve a long and healthy life for all South Africans.• Progressively achieve universal health coverage by means of national health insurance• Improve quality of health care• Re-engineer primary health care for better outcomes• Reduce health care costs• Improve human resources for health• Improve health management and leadership• Improve health facility planning and infrastructure delivery• Manage and prevent HIV & Aids and tuberculosis• Reduce maternal, infant and child mortality• Develop and implement an efficient health management information system for improved decision makingHealth care – Key medium-term targets for 2019The Medium Term Strategic Framework (2014 to 2019) identifies the following targets to achieve a long and healthy life for all South Africans.GRAPHIC: MARY ALEXANDER Researched, edited and compiled by Mary AlexanderUpdated December 2015last_img read more

Minnesota Budget Proposal Includes Federal Conformity

first_imgMinnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced a budget proposal that includes:– an expansion of the working family tax credit;– increasing the subtraction for Social Security benefits;– federal tax law conformity to new foreign income provisions;– retention of state personal income tax deductions and exemptions;– property tax relief created by modifying the sales tax exemption for local governments and nonprofits purchasing construction materials;– a 20-cent increase in the gas tax; and– a $50-per-acre property tax credit for farmers who provide buffer strips of land near public waters and drainage systems.MinnesotaCare TaxThe governor also proposes to keep the MinnesotaCare tax at the rate of 2%.News Release, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, February 19, 2019Login to read more on CCHAnswerConnect.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more