U.S. ‘Drug Czar’ Gil Kerlikowske Cites Shrinking Colombian Cocaine Crop

first_img Drug trafficking and the violence it breeds is a curse that plagues every nation in South and Central America as well as the Caribbean, but decriminalizing any illegal substance — even marijuana — is definitely not the answer. That’s the verdict from R. Gil Kerlikowske, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Speaking July 30 at Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies, the nation’s “drug czar” said there has been “considerable discussion here and in Latin America” about Uruguay’s highly controversial move to make marijuana legal. “Too often, we face a polarized debate — legalization at one end of the spectrum and a ‘war on drugs’ at the other,” he said. “The Obama administration is committed to a third way forward. Legalization is not our policy, nor is locking every offender up. Our approach focuses on the public health challenge of drug consumption and science of addiction, and tackling the international security challenge posed by transnational criminal organizations. There are no simple answers to the global drug issue.” Kerlikowske noted that “transnational criminal networks will not disappear if drugs were made legal. These organizations don’t derive all of their revenue from drugs, and they wouldn’t simply disband if drugs were legalized. They are diversified businesses, profiting from human trafficking, kidnapping, extortion, intellectual property theft and other crimes.” In fact, the profitability of drugs “is actually quite low” compared to that of other crimes like prostitution, piracy and the sale of human organs. He noted that “these groups are in business for money and power, and there is no limit to the schemes they will employ to extract illegal proceeds from our societies.” ONDCP: Colombian cocaine production down 25% During his talk, Kerlikowske announced that Colombian production of cocaine dropped by 25 percent in the past year, and 72 percent in the past decade — from an estimated 700 metric tons at its peak in 2001 to 195 tons last year. That places Colombia third in worldwide cocaine production after Peru (325 tons) and Bolivia (265 tons). At the same time, the number of cocaine users in the United States has fallen by 39 percent since 2011, he said, while methamphetamine use has tumbled by 50 percent. Last year, a survey of adult males arrested in 10 U.S. cities showed that fewer men are testing positive for cocaine. But all this didn’t happen overnight, said Kerlikowske, who served as top U.S. delegate to the June 25-26 anti-drug summit in Lima, Peru. By Dialogo August 03, 2012 “There was a sustained effort requiring nearly a decade of steady, strategic pressure across more than one administration in both the United States and Colombia. And they didn’t happen because the strategy was based solely on a hard line. They were a result of a balanced approach that involved integrated strategic steps,” he said. “The results are historic and have tremendous implications — not just for the United States and the Western Hemisphere, but for the world.” Kerlikowske said it’s important to recognize the Colombian military’s success in dramatically reducing the strength of the country’s biggest terrorist group, the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), “as well as the fact that law enforcement initiatives have been so well-structured. A number of countries clearly admire what has occurred in Colombia, and both Presidents [Alvaro] Uribe and [Juan Manuel] Santos have made the dismantling of drug trafficking organizations priorities in their administrations.” Consumption: Not just a U.S. problem The drug czar, who has more than 37 years of law enforcement under his belt — including stints as police chief of Seattle, Buffalo, N.Y., and various cities in Florida — said “the security threat Colombia and the United States faced in 1999 is gone, and it has been accomplished without offsetting those results elsewhere. These lessons provide a model for dealing with challenges throughout the world, particularly in Central America.” To that end, Kerlikowske recently visited Guatemala, where he met with President Otto Pérez Molina and also visited a women’s drug rehabilitation center in the capital. The facility held only 12 women, each of whom were paying the equivalent of $200. “This Guatemalan treatment center met a public health need that’s not confined by national borders. In many cases, the women being treated at this center had made enormous sacrifices to be there, and their choices for treatment had been woefully limited before they arrived,” he said. “My point is that drug consumption isn’t just a U.S. or European problem; drug consumption is a significant and growing social problem in places we once called supply and transit countries.” Through the administration’s Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), said Kerlikowske, the United States is “helping to create safe streets in Latin America, disrupt drug trafficking and support democratic institutions. But CARSI funding also goes to gang prevention and social programs for at-risk youth to provide healthy alternatives to substance abuse.” Kerlikowske said four decades as a police chief taught him that “you don’t change the level of crime in a neighborhood unless you first have safety going into it. In Mexico, people often want to use Colombia has a template. Colombia took well over a decade to make these significant changes. Their citizens were taxed at a level that allowed the government to provide infrastructure, safety and security which made a huge different. Reducing corruption is really at the foundation of all this.” Alternative crop programs are crucial It’s also important, he said, to provide economically sustainable alternatives to farmers who give up coca production in countries like Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. “Institutional support for alternative development is absolutely critical, whether it’s fish farming, cacao or other crops. The success has been pretty amazing,” said Kerlikowske. “This not only reduces the amount of drugs coming out of Latin America, but also ensures that farmers have viable alternatives to support themselves and their families as they turn to alternate, legal crops.” Meanwhile, in the United States, the retail purity of powder cocaine purchased domestically has dropped by 28 percent since 2006, while the rate of Americans testing positive for cocaine in the workplace fell by 63 percent between 2006 and 2011, said Kerlikowske’s office. And unintentional overdose deaths in the U.S. related to cocaine dropped 41 percent, from 6,726 in 2006 to 3,988 in 2009, the year for which the most recent data are available. “In the last 30 years, drug use across the nation has generally declined, but there’s been some increase in the last couple of years,” he said. “Prescription drugs not coming across any border have taken more lives than cocaine and heroin combined, and yet it’s been an unrecognized problem until about three years ago.” Very respectfully, I personally think that illicit growth of coca has not diminished. One thing is what some organizations say and another is the reality of the problem in situ. In a way, the real truth of the problem is hidden. I am an insignificant person regarding this phenomenon and I do not have the means of monitoring, or the technology or analysts that monitor 24 hours. I know that they lie when they take for granted the reduction of illicit crops. Let us not believe the lies and we must not transfer or avoid the responsibility. Many criminal organizations live from this business and there are entities that profit from this business in the shadows. Therefore what I do believe is that they have changed tactics and ways of cultivation, but it is not true that production and cultivated hectares have decreased. That is the lifeblood of drug traffickers and terrorist organizations and where many bodies of the States have their share. This results in corruption and unfortunately opens doors. The issue is so difficult and there is so much drugs and their sources, that it seems impossible to solve it, depending on what you consider a solution. It turns out that in this forum they only speak about South and Central America, but in the United States drugs are also grown and produced. In the militarily occupied countries (Afghanistan), production of heroin has not decreased, but it has skyrocketed. This business is also a good political argument to handle geopolitical interests and the “zar” is no stranger to them, so they only have to say, following the example of Colombia and the mentioned drastic reductions in the cocaine production, the road is cooperation. This would be very well, if this not included the deployment of military bases where logically not only drugs are monitored , but it is exercised an effective control throughout the country and neighbors, and this gives the possibility to the external collaborator of influencing politics, the economy and life of those States. One might wonder if the U.S., the United Kingdom or France would accept some sort of similar structure in their territories regardless of how promising were such cooperation. From my own experience and what I’ve seen, when a powerful State establishes a position in another country, is like the hunting dog that does not release the prey until it is forced to do it or the prey is killed. You can see as an example the Naval Base of Guantánamo, a monstrosity emerged from the unfair treatment given to the emerging Cuban neocolonial Republic, or when the Portuguese allowed the English to enter their country to contain Napoleon and then they had to fight to eject them, or the so-called Canal zone, in Panama, which the U.S. already considers its own and they even called themselves “zonians” who lived there and considered it “America”,that is, the U.S.last_img read more

Singaporean to sell half of City’s £200m Lion Plaza

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Pushed in Senate: 1-year provisional franchise for ABS-CBN

first_imgMANILA – Several senators were looking to push for a one-year provisional franchise for the media giant ABS-CBN Corp. as they deemed the six-month being proposed by the House of Representatives as “too short.” “Mas maganda siguro bigyan natin ng sapat na panahon and give them (ABS-CBN) a longer provisional franchise,” says Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri. SENATE PRIB/CESAR TOMAMBO “After the long sine die break [in June], the situation on COVID-19 may still not be resolved at that time and we are entering the typhoon season na baka linggo-linggo tayo tamaan… so our attention will be divided at that time,” according to Zubiri. The Congress may not have enough time to tackle ABS-CBN’s franchise between the resumption of session in July and the break in October, he added. The House of Representatives is expected to approve on third and final reading next week House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano’s bill granting provisional license for ABS-CBN until Oct. 31. Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said the timeframe set by the House in its measure was not enough for the legislature to finalize the broadcast giant’s bid for a fresh 25-year mandate. “We are appealing hopefully for our colleagues for more time baka kasi lalabas na naman ang NTC (National Telecommunications Commission) ng Oct. 30, may cease and desist order at back to zero na naman ang sitwasyon. Tensyonado na naman ang lahat,” Zubiri said. “Mas maganda siguro bigyan natin ng sapat na panahon and give them a longer provisional franchise,” the senator stressed. The network has been off the air since May 5, a day after the lapse of its franchise, on orders of the National Telecommunications Commission. Bills for the renewal of its franchise have been pending at the House since 2014. /PNlast_img read more

Finn aiming to catch the eye

first_img Heightened interest allied with good shows from Finn could well be an arm-twister for any interested parties, but, as much as the 29-year-old would like a crack at the big time, he wonders if he will forever be a victim of an obsession with imported players. “I wouldn’t like to say no, I won’t play in Super League, because I’d certainly back myself if I got the opportunity, but I’ve never had that,” he told Press Association Sport. “I’ve just gone about my business the best that I can. I’m not the most fashionable player in a rugby league sense but I feel I have stuff to offer as a half-back and an organisational player. “It irks me a little and hurts to see players I don’t consider as good as myself playing, but at the end of the day rugby league is a game of opinions and people who have opinions who count – 14 of the them – have never wanted to give me a chance in Super League and I have to respect that because their jobs are on the line.” Finn can at least take comfort from that fact that he has always been wanted by his country. Ireland-qualified through his dad, Brendan, who died in 1993, Finn considers national selection to the be highest of accolades. He knows many in Ireland are yet to give league credence but is ready to steam ahead in pursuit of a last-eight spot at least. “My dad was born in Wexford and moved over with family when he was young, with my uncle the first born in England. I lost my dad when I was 10, when I got the chance to play for Ireland I jumped at it,” Finn added. Liam Finn has arguably been the best player outside of the top flight for the last four years – a string-puller of the highest order at Featherstone – but none of the 14 Super League bosses have asked him to make the step up. As a result he continues to work as an electrician and plays part-time for Featherstone, but, over the next fortnight at least, will be training full-time and leading the Wolfhounds into Group A fixtures with Australia, England and first of all Fiji in Rochdale on Monday. Press Association “I see it as a privilege every time I do it and that’s why I’m not one of these people who comes and goes for the fancy games. I want to be there year in, year out, and that’s what I have done for Ireland. I have always treated it with the respect it deserves. “What we need to do now is get some interest in the game, but that’s not even touching on the battle if they’re serious in Ireland, which I doubt anybody is. Getting the interest there were help, though, and I hope people can come along and get gripped by it.” Ireland’s first hurdle is not the easier to climb. Fiji are a formidable outfit at the best of times, but, with the fixture in Rochdale, they have a further weapon in their armoury. The Greater Manchester town boasts the largest Fijian community outside of London, with hundreds of residents of the island heading to England in the trail of rugby union players Orisi Dawai and Joe Levula who signed for Rochdale Hornets in 1961. “It has been an amazing experience for us to be here and see so many friendly people and hear their Fijian voices,” coach Rick Stone said. “We are so thankful to the community and the support they are giving us. We look forward to seeing them at the games. It should be good fun.” One of the Championship’s most outstanding half-backs is hoping that some big-stage performances for Ireland in the World Cup could bring him to the attention of Super League coaches. last_img read more

What time does the NHL Draft start today? Live TV coverage, pick order for Day 2

first_imgWith the start of the offseason comes the 2019 NHL Draft, where big names like Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko will finally start their highly-anticipated NHL careers.The draft will kick off with the New Jersey Devils making the first overall pick, followed by the New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks, the two other teams that won the lottery. Either the Boston Bruins or the St. Louis Blues will get the final pick dependent on which team will take home the Stanley Cup. Alex Turcotte, C, U.S. U18 (NTDP)Jonathan Toews may have had a career year statistically, but he turns 31 later this month. Turcotte, who grew up just north of Chicago, is fast and an assassin with the puck, but also plays a tough, 200-foot game. He’ll play for the University of Wisconsin next fall.Trevor Zegras, C, U.S. U18 (NTDP)If you swap jersey numbers between Hughes and this dynamic playmaker, you might have a tough time determining who is who. Zegras, a Boston University recruit, has world-class vision, silky-smooth moves and can enter the offensive zone cleaner than anyone outside of his aforementioned NTDP teammates.Bowen Byram, D, Vancouver (WHL)Kings GM Rob Blake was a physical puck mover himself during his Hall of Fame career, so you have to think he’s impressed with this rugged point-producing machine who would be the perfect option to groom as Drew Doughty’s eventual replacement. Here’s what you need to know to watch this year’s draft, including when it is, how you can watch and when each team will make its selection.MORE 2019 NHL DRAFT:SN’s final mock draft | Top 62 big boardWhen and where is the NHL Draft in 2019?Date: June 21-22Location: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, B.C.Start time: 8 p.m. ET (Day 1) | 1 p.m. ET (Day 2)TV channels: NBCSN, NHL Network, SportsnetLive stream: NBC Sports App | fuboTV (7-day free trial)This year’s draft, the 57th in NHL history, will take place at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, the Canucks’ home venue. The first round will be on Friday, June 21, and rounds 2-7 take place on Saturday, June 22. What time does the NHL Draft start?Round 1 of the NHL Draft starts at 8 p.m. ET on June 21, and the second day (Rounds 2-7) will kick off at 1 p.m. ET on June 22.MORE: Watch the NHL Draft live with fuboTV (7-day free trial)NHL Draft TV channel, how to live streamThis year’s draft will be broadcast on NBCSN and NHL Network, with NBCSN broadcasting the first day of the draft and NHL Network broadcasting the second.In Canada, Sportsnet will broadcast both days of the NHL draft. You can also stream the draft on the NBC Sports App and nbcsports.com, as well as on fuboTV (you can get a seven-day trial and subscribe here).RoundsDateTimeTV Channel1Friday, June 218 p.m. ETNBCSN/Sportsnet2-7Saturday, June 221 p.m. ETNHL Network/Sportsnet2019 NHL Draft order of picksThe first round draft order is determined by the draft lottery and the outcome of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Picks 1-15 are determined by the lottery system, and picks 16-27 are decided by the playoff teams that were eliminated in the first two rounds and their point totals. The 28th and 29th picks go to the conference final runner-ups, and the final two picks go to the Stanley Cup runner-up and Stanley Cup champion respectively.The order for rounds 2-7 is determined by all 31 teams’ point totals in the regular season.First round1. New Jersey Devils2. New York Rangers3. Chicago Blackhawks4. Colorado Avalanche (from Ottawa Senators)5. Los Angeles Kings6. Detroit Red Wings7. Buffalo Sabres8. Edmonton Oilers9. Anaheim Ducks10. Vancouver Canucks11. Philadelphia Flyers12. Minnesota Wild13. Florida Panthers14. Arizona Coyotes15. Montreal Canadiens16. Colorado Avalanche17. Vegas Golden Knights18. Dallas Stars19. Ottawa Senators (from Columbus Blue Jackets)20. Winnipeg Jets21. Pittsburgh Penguins22. Los Angeles Kings (from Toronto Maple Leafs)23. New York Islanders24. Nashville Predators25. Washington Capitals26. Calgary Flames27. Tampa Bay Lightning28. Carolina Hurricanes29. San Jose SharksYou can find the complete order of picks for Rounds 2-7 here.2019 NHL mock draftSN’s latest mock draft, curated by our NHL prospects contributor Steve Kournianos, takes a look at the top prospects and still has Hughes going first overall. Additionally, a number of U.S. National Team players are expected to go early on.Here are the five players expected to go first:Devils: Jack Hughes, C, U.S. U18 (NTDP)Rangers: Kaapo Kakko, RW, TPS Turku (SM-Liiga)Blackhawks: Alex Turcotte, C, U.S. U18 (NTDP)Avalanche (from Ottawa): Trevor Zegras, C, U.S. U18 (NTDP)Los Angeles Kings: Bowen Byram, D, Vancouver (WHL)Check out the rest of Kournianos’ mock draft here.NHL Draft 2019 top prospects to knowBelow are the top 2019 draft prospects via SN contributor Steve Kournianos’ latest big board. You can read the rest of his top 31 player rankings here.Jack Hughes, C, U.S. U18 (NTDP)With all due respect to the likes of Kirk Muller and even Nico Hischier, the Devils have never had a center whose skill alone was enough to fill the seats. Hughes is an exceptional playmaker with ridiculous speed who has the potential to become the franchise’s first marketable superstarKaapo Kakko, RW, TPS Turku (SM-Liiga)Kakko is exactly what the Rangers want and need – a powerful goal scorer with quickness and strength who can wear down any defender. He’ll be the highest draft pick in Blueshirts history, joining Hall of Fame defenseman Brad Park, who went second overall in 1966.last_img read more

Tom Brady doesn’t ‘love’ new helmet: ‘I don’t really have much of a choice’

first_imgHis former helmet, the Riddell VSR-4, was part of a series of helmets (six in total) that are now prohibited by the league, which has updated its policy in recent years, citing player safety. “I’ve been experimenting with a couple different ones, and I don’t really love the one that I’m in, but I don’t really have much of a choice,” Brady said Monday on the Greg Hill Show. “So I’m just trying to do the best I can to work with it.” Related News Tom Brady is one of a handful of players forced to transition to a new helmet this season.While Antonio Brown continues his holdout over the NFL mandated change, Brady has already tried some of the approved options — and he isn’t a fan.  Antonio Brown threatens to hold NFL liable if he’s injured wearing new helmet, report says NFL: Antonio Brown could be in ‘breach of contract’ if he won’t play in new helmetcenter_img Brady, Brown and Aaron Rodgers are some of the most notable names that have to switch helmets.The NFL will not let these veterans wear helmets that don’t pass an array of tests, and the league does not approve equipment that is older than 10 years.“You get used to the same helmet for a long period of time. My last helmet, I wore it the last four Super Bowls, so it was a pretty great helmet for me. I hated to put it on the shelf,” Brady said. “It’s kind of what I’m dealing with.” Listen to Brady’s entire interview Monday on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” below:last_img read more

Anders Spinalators are back on top for the first time since 2003

first_imgPace Money:360 SPRINT                  The Dore Enchies                             $   25.00 3RD  PLACE                   SSB Big Bucks                        47:09 2ND PLACE                    The Dore Enchies                    44:43 MOTOCROSS               The Dore Enchies                             $    25.00 9TH PLACE                    Greeno Flameouts                   55:06 CANOE #2                    Anders Spinalators                            $    25.00½ MILE                        Anders Spinalators                            $    25.00 BICYCLE                      Anders Spinalators                            $    25.00 DESERT HIWAY           Anders Spinalators                            $    25.00HORSE RACE               Anders Spinalators                            $    25.00 10TH PLACE                  Galaxie Business Equipment      56:19 SECOND PLACE           The Dore Enchies                             $225.00 MILE #2                       Anders Spinalators                            $    25.00 MILE #1                       Anders Spinalators                            $    25.00center_img CANOE #1                    Anders Spinalators                            $    25.00 by Garrett Wilson, Sumner Newscow — For the first time since 2003 the Anders Spinalators are champions of the Great Race.Anders took the title from defending champions The Dore Enchies Saturday night in South Woods Park.It was the usual Great Race crowd packed with locals and visitors from all over the country. They were treated to a fantastic race along with some beautiful weather. The Dore took the early lead and led through the first 3 legs of the race. Anders would take the lead after the fourth leg and never look back. At one point they led by over 200 yards.Anders would go on to win with a time of 43 minutes and 30 seconds. Almost a minute ahead of the runner ups but 1 minute and 27 seconds behind the 2012 record set by the Commodore.Here are the official standings:Great Race Money Winners: FIRST PLACE               Anders Spinalators                            $325.00 CROSS-COUNTRY        The Dore Enchies                             $    25.00 ¾ MILE                        The Dore Enchies                             $   25.00 4TH PLACE                    Sons of Thunder                     47:255TH PLACE                    Yunker’s Knucklebusters                  49:36 6TH PLACE                    Spencer Speedsters                 51:227TH PLACE                    Black Oak Striders                   51:248TH PLACE                    Axis of Awesome                    52:21 Totals                 Anders Spinalators                               $525.00The Dore Enchies                                    $325.00SSB Big Bucks                                            $125.00Times and placing: The Great Race 2013:1ST PLACE                    Anders Spinalators                   43:30 11TH PLACE          Village Idiots                           58:19Course Record:            Yunker’s Wheat Whackers           44:25(2009) Course Record:            Commodore Enchies                       42:24(2010) New Course Record:     Commodore Enchies                       42:03(2012) Members of the Anders Spinalators are as follows:Captain John Anders (Wellington)Brandyn Willard (Andover)Frank Adelman (Yukon, Oklahoma)Eric Anders (Wellington)Jared Rausch (Haysville)Nick Warnke (Wichita)Duane Spexarth (Wellington)Eric Lightfoot (Andover)Trey Bruton (Meriden)Colton Day (Wellington)Caleb Brill (Conway Springs)Jace Rausch (Wellington)Jason Rausch (Wellington)Chris Wacker (Loveland, Colorado)David Leonard (Miltonvale) THIRD PLACE              SSB Big Bucks                                 $125.00 Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. There are no comments posted yet. Be the first one! Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more