Young people across Nova Scotia are learning new ways to manage relationships and conflict by being encouraged to think about how they, and their actions, affect others. Education Minister Ramona Jennex and Ministerial Assistant for Youth Mat Whynott, on behalf of Justice Minister Ross Landry, announced the expansion of restorative approaches in schools, October 24, at Sycamore Lane Elementary School in Lower Sackville. Nova Scotia will be the first Canadian jurisdiction to initiate a provincewide restorative approach. “School is a big part of our young people’s lives and what happens there can guide them on how to create healthy relationships, and deal with conflict in all other parts of their lives,” said Ms. Jennex. “Restorative approaches will also have a direct impact on bullying and other harmful behaviours, and will have a ripple effect into the home and community.” The approach helps students understand relationships and conflicts and gives them knowledge and skills to manage them effectively. Benefits include less conflict in schools, more time for teachers to teach, better school morale and a stronger student connection to their school. “The schools that have used this approach have noticed a huge drop in office referrals and suspensions,” said Mr. Whynott. “Students have become more respectful of others and the schools have noticed a calming effect.” It uses a number of methods, including classroom circles where students discuss the impacts of behaviour or share information about themselves that helps develop relationship with classmates. Students can also largely avoid the stigma of being “sent to the office” or being suspended. Instead, they deal with the behaviour with their fellow students and teachers. “I was unsure about restorative approaches at first, but now I see many benefits,” said Eva Clement, a Grade 4 teacher at Sycamore Lane. “My students are now finding their voice. They are starting to acknowledge each other and the issues they may have to deal with in their daily lives at school, home and their community. It’s very much a learning experience for all of us.” A provincewide program will be developed based on the 27 schools that already use some form of restorative approach. A restorative approach in schools supports the province’s crime prevention efforts. The province invests in programs that support crime prevention and community safety, including the Lighthouses Program, Additional Officer Program, and mental health and domestic violence courts. A restorative approach in schools also supports Kids and Learning First, the province’s plan to help every student succeed. To learn more about restorative approaches in school, visit www.ednet.ns.ca or www.novascotia.ca/just.
(Miriam Saunders, mother of Loretta Saunders, during press conference Thursday. Trina Roache/APTN)Trina Roache APTN National NewsHALIFAX–It’s been a “roller coaster of emotions” for the family of a young Inuk woman killed last year.But Delilah Saunders is relieved it’s finally over.Before opening arguments even began, the Loretta Saunders murder trial ended suddenly after the two accused pleaded guilty.Blake Leggette will serve an automatic life sentence for first degree murder. Victoria Henneberry faces the same sentence, though she’ll be eligible for parole between 10 and 25 years. She pleaded guilty to second degree murder.“Personally, a lot of it hasn’t set in,” said Delilah Saunders, Loretta’s sister. “But I think we’re doing good, we are satisfied.”Loretta Saunders was killed on February 13, 2014.The family travelled from their home in Labrador to be here for the trial in Halifax. It’s been a high profile case over the last 14 months, garnering headlines across the country.“I’m pretty exhausted,” said Miriam Saunders, Loretta’s mother. “I have mixed feelings. I have joy, there’s sadness there.”Both Delilah and Miriam couldn’t sit in on the preliminary hearing because there was a chance they would be called as witnesses. So they never got to hear the details of how Loretta was killed. Miriam has said in the past that she wants to know, but are now spared the pain of hearing it in court.“It’s a relief that our family will not have to experience the facts in a very public forum and that we can learn them and react organically and without censor,” said Delilah Saunders.Loretta lived in Halifax while going to university. Her thesis was focused on missing and murdered Indigenous women. It’s a cause the family is picking up in her name.“Loretta may not be here today but her legacy lives on and will continue to grow through seeking justice for all missing and murdered indigenous girls,” said Delilah Saunders. “There are women who do not receive justice and families who do not receive answers. We are grateful that the perpetrators took responsibility but this often isn’t the case. It feels wrong to feel so happy. They not only took a very important loved one from us but a grandchild or a niece or a nephew.”Loretta was three months pregnant at the time she was killed.“We made plans,” said Miriam Saunders. “I was going to quit my job and she was going to go become a lawyer. So my hope is to start advocating for pregnant women who are murdered and their baby. My daughter and her baby are in heaven now.”When asked what he would say to Loretta if he could see his daughter now, an emotional Clayton Saunders replied, “I don’t think I would say very much, I would just grab her and hug her.”The family will stay in Halifax until next week. They’ll have a chance to read victim impact statements at the formal sentencing for Leggette and Henneberry on April 29.The family says then the healing can firstname.lastname@example.org@TrinaRoache
NEW YORK — The head of the New York City Transit Authority and former chief executive at the Toronto Transit Commission says he is having “deja vu times two” with problems around trains from Bombardier Inc.Andy Byford told the state transit authority this week that New York City Transit will halt new train car deliveries until more of the existing cars are fixed.At a Metropolitan Transportation Authority committee meeting Tuesday, he cited issues with the HVAC system software, springs between the cars and doors that were “weeping oil.”Byford called the ongoing difficulties “gruelling” and depressing,” recalling the production delays and defects that plagued streetcar orders during his five years at the helm of Canada’s largest municipal transit authority.Earlier this month, Swiss Federal Railways opted to stop taking new trains from the Montreal-based company until it fixes the ones already in service.Bombardier is also facing an upcoming deadline that was delayed to Feb. 1 for delivery of the first six of 76 vehicles for Toronto’s Crosstown Eglinton light rail line. Bombardier did not respond immediately for comment. Companies in this story: (TSX:BBD.B)The Canadian Press
The United Nations faces unprecedented security challenges in many regions of the world, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the General Assembly’s budget committee today, as he sought support for almost $300 million in new funding to make the Organization and its staff safer. “We have been adapting to new security threats for many years now, but the latest threats compel us to go further still,” he said, highlighting a recent attack on a guest house in Afghanistan that killed five UN staff members.Mr. Ban told an informal meeting of the Fifth Committee that his proposal for almost $300 million over the next two years aimed to strengthen and unify the UN security management system. “I would also like to underscore the importance of meeting emergency needs, particularly in the light of recent attacks,” said Mr. Ban, adding that he remains deeply concerned about the security situation in Afghanistan.The Committee is currently examining the Secretary-General’s proposed budget of $5.06 billion to cover the work of the UN Secretariat for 2010 and 2011, which represents real growth of $22.4 million, or half a percentage point, over the previous biennium.Given the global economic downturn, Mr. Ban stressed that his proposed budget only includes the highest priority projects and call for only “modest” increases. “We all recognize the need to constantly modernize our infrastructure, stay abreast of technological developments, and strengthen performance,” he said. “It can be the difference between progress and poverty, and even a matter of life and death.”Among the other issues Mr. Ban addressed were the appointment of a special adviser on Africa, the funding of a development account, and the recruitment of the next chief of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS). “As Chief Administrative Officer, I am committed to management reform and to greater transparency, accountability and efficiency,” said Mr. Ban. 7 December 2009The United Nations faces unprecedented security challenges in many regions of the world, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the General Assembly’s budget committee today, as he sought support for almost $300 million in new funding to make the Organization and its staff safer.
12 May 2010Armed violence remains one of the main obstacles to the achievement the social development and poverty alleviation targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the United Nations development chief said today at a conference to address the problem. Armed violence remains one of the main obstacles to the achievement the social development and poverty alleviation targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the United Nations development chief said today at a conference to address the problem.“Armed violence has a devastating effect on development progress,” said Helen Clark, Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP). “Life as normal is severely disrupted – affecting citizens’ safety and security and access to basic services and livelihoods,” she told the gathering in Geneva, co-hosted by UNDP and the Norwegian foreign ministry.“The international community can mobilise to deter the proliferation and use of the weapons which fuel this violence,” Miss Clark added.Delegates from international organizations, civil society, and 60 States attended the conference to discuss strategies to tackle armed violence.Their conclusion will contribute to the 2010 MDGs review process, leading up to the High Level MDGs summit in New York in September, when world leaders will gather to assess progress, identify gaps, and commit to a concrete action agenda to achieve the MDGs by 2015.“Every day armed violence kills more than 2,000 people,” said Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre. “The majority of these fatalities are civilians. This is a fundamental challenge to our common humanitarian and developmental goals. States must come together and work in partnership with the UN and civil society to take action against armed violence now,” he said.Each year, armed violence in non-conflict States costs the world’s economies approximately $163 billion, more than the sum total of all official development assistance (ODA), according to UNDP.At the conference, represented countries endorsed commitments to strive to reduce and curb armed violence. By signing on to the Oslo Commitments on Armed Violence sponsored by Norway and UNDP, States committed themselves to a wide range of actions, including better monitoring and recording of armed violence and supporting victims through the provision of adequate care and rehabilitation. The commitments also call for the integration of armed violence into development plans at all levels of Government and urge strengthened international cooperation and assistance to prevent and reduce armed violence.
“Yesterday the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) confirmed that the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) dropped at least two bombs near the Yida refugee camp,” Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, told the Security Council.According to Hilde Johnson, the head of UNMISS and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative to South Sudan, two bombs fell inside the camp and three outside of it. The camp, located in the country’s Unity state, shelters over 20,000 people who have fled increasing violence in the Sudanese states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. Mr. Ladsous said no casualties had been reported so far, adding that this could change as the mission is still verifying the situation in surrounding communities.“It is absolutely imperative that both governments take the necessary steps to de-escalate the situation, ensure that civilian lives are protected, and resume peaceful dialogue,” Mr. Ladsous said.Speaking later, Sudan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, told journalists that the Sudanese Government had not ordered any bombings. He also said his Government fully respected the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its southern neighbour, while adding that Sudan has the right to fight all rebels that try to cause instability in its territory.Meanwhile, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) condemned the bombings and urged an investigation, stressing that the attack could amount to an international crime.“There needs to be an independent, thorough and credible investigation to establish the precise circumstances of this aerial bombing,” said High Commissioner Navi Pillay. “If indeed it is established that an international crime or serious human rights violation has been committed, then those responsible should be brought to justice,” she said.Ms. Pillay said the incident risks aggravating what is already an extremely tense and dangerous situation, and she urged the parties involved in the fighting to immediately cease all attacks on civilians.UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesperson Adrian Edwards said the agency had been preparing new refugee sites away from the border when the incident occurred.“We had hoped to begin the relocation of refugees but our efforts have so far been hampered by heavy rains which have made the road to the camp impassable,” he said during a press briefing in Geneva.A spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also voiced concern, calling on both parties to “take all steps to protect civilian lives.”Increasing tensions in the border areas between Sudan and South Sudan have driven thousands of civilians to flee their homes since June, and various refugee sites have been established in South Sudan and Ethiopia to provide shelter, food and basic services to those affected by the violence.In her remarks to the Security Council, Ms. Johnson also expressed concern over other areas in the country which she said have been bombed recently by the Sudan’s People Liberation Army (SPLA), including New Guffa and Yafta in Maban County, which caused the deaths of one child and seven SPLA soldiers.Ms. Johnson said the bombings have prompted many people to move from Guffa to Bunji, the county capital, and said an increase in the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) is expected. She also said fighting has been reported over the past couple of days in Upper Nile State, with UNMISS helping to evacuate the resulting casualties.The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan, Lise Grande, also condemned the aerial bombardment and voiced concern over the attacks’ impact on civilians.“The 10 November attack in Yida has put innocent civilians at extreme risk” said Ms. Grande. “These people have walked for miles. They are fleeing violence in Southern Kordofan in search of safety and lifesaving assistance. The bombing in Yida has severely disrupted the humanitarian operation just as we need to scale up our aid,” she said in a press release.She confirmed that some humanitarian personnel have been evacuated from the area in the wake of the attack. 11 November 2011Sudanese military forces have bombed a refugee camp in neighbouring South Sudan, the United Nations confirmed today, calling for an urgent investigation into what its top human rights official warned could amount to “a serious international crime.”
The inaugural sea voyage brings to nearly 1,400 the number of Liberians who have returned home from Ghana since the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) started facilitating repatriation in October. The majority returned by air. In all, some 2,000 of the 42,000 Liberians in Ghana have so far expressed a desire to go home. The latest group of 385 Liberians left Ghana’s main port of Tema on board the MV Cerano on Wednesday for the three and a half day journey, carrying with them livestock, personal effects, commercial bread ovens and food such as yams and peanuts. Over the next three years, UNHCR plans to repatriate some of the estimated 340,000 Liberians who fled 14 years of vicious civil war to neighbouring countries, with 150,000 expected to return in 2005 alone. Once home, UNHCR pursues a range of efforts to facilitate the refugees’ reintegration of Liberian refugees, including education programmes, infrastructural development and vocational skills training. On arrival, the returnees are provided with an assistance package comprising food, household items and basic tools to support their reintegration. Some receive onward transportation or a transport allowance to cover the trip to their home areas.
A Legal Aid Agency spokesperson said: “We can confirm legal aid has been awarded to families of the victims of the 1982 Hyde Park bombing. We reviewed the application in accordance with the information provided and the legal aid regulations.“Our deepest sympathies remain with those affected by this atrocity.”Sarah Jane Young, the daughter of Lance Corporal Young, told paper: “When I heard the news, I burst into tears. It’s the best day I’ve had in years.”She added: “I only dreamed we’d ever get to this moment, but now anything’s possible.” A suspect accused of being behind the IRA Hyde Park bomb could face a High Court hearing into his alleged role in the blast that killed four British soldiers and injured several others.A criminal trial against John Downey, 66, collapsed over Government and police errors but he now faces a civil action after Legal Aid chiefs agreed to fund it.It comes after they refused five times to pay for attempts to bring him to justice, The Sun reported, after a long campaign by families of the victims.Lance Corporal Jeffrey Young, Corporal Roy Bright, Trooper Simon Tipper and Lieutenant Anthony Daly were all killed in the attack on 20 July 1982. A further 31 were injured, and seven cavalry horses also died.Downey denies any involvement in the attack and claims he was framed in a conspiracy between MI5, the Met, the CPS and the Police Service of Northern Ireland. He was due to face an Old Bailey trial four years ago until it emerged he had been wrongly sent a letter promising immunity from prosecution in a secret scheme under the Good Friday Agreement. Dead horses are covered up and wrecked cars left at the scene after an IRA bomb exploded as the Household Cavalry was passing in Hyde Park, LondonCredit:PA
Women’s HIV is not being treated early enough, the Terence Higgins Trust has said, as it warns that campaigns are too focused on gay men. The charity’s research shows that almost half of women with HIV thought they had been diagnosed late, which could shorten their lives and mean their health is worse. Public health experts interviewed by the charity “felt that overall there had been a disproportionate focus on men who have sex with men (MSM) in the HIV response with one stakeholder suggesting that the sector had ‘taken its eye off the ball’ when it came to HIV and women”, the report said. In 2016, 28,479 women in the UK were receiving care for HIV, around a third of the total.Women who had been diagnosed late “were less likely to rate their quality of life as very good, were more likely to rate their quality of life as poor or acceptable, and were more likely to say that their quality of life had got worse since diagnosis”, the report added. Almost half of women interviewed had had a mental health diagnosis since their HIV diagnosis and a similar proportion were living below the poverty line. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. ‘We hope this project will send a strong signal to researchers, service providers, decision-makers and the HIV sector as a whole, to support the urgent need to make sure women are invisible no longer in HIV.”Commenting on the report, Maria Miller, chair of the women and equalities committee, said: “There have been incredible female activists who have stood up, and continue to fight for the rights of women living with HIV.”But women have too often been the silent partner when it comes to HIV. This must change.”The issues raised in this report are familiar to me in many ways – time and again women’s issues are not prioritised and addressed.” Jacqui Stevenson, a trustee of the Sophia Forum, which also worked on the research, said: ‘We must see gender equity in funding, data, services and research to ensure adequate support is available for any woman living with HIV who needs it.
LET US TAKE you back in time.Artist Dana Keller painstakingly adds colour to striking black and white images from the past – the photograph of Monet, for example, took five hours to complete.The result is a whole new layer of detail to the photographs, and the fascinating feeling of seeing things exactly as they were seen so long ago.Audrey Hepburn, 1954 Source: Facebook/HistoryInColor(Original photo)Louis Armstrong in New York, 1946 Source: Facebook/HistoryInColor(Original photo)Newspaper boy outside the White Star Line offices in London, April 16 1912 Source: Facebook/HistoryInColor(Original photo)Winston Churchill, 1941 Source: Facebook/HistoryInColor(Original photo)Jewish women and children arriving at Auschwitz, May 27 1944 Source: Facebook/HistoryInColor(Original photo)Claude Monet and two of his paintings, 1923 Source: Facebook/HistoryInColour(Original photo)Girls delivering ice during World War I, September 16 1918 Source: Facebook/HistoryInColour(Original photo)Abraham Lincoln, 1865 Source: Facebook/HistoryInColor(Original photo)8 of Dublin’s coolest office spaces>The Queen didn’t sit on the Iron Throne and disappointed the entire internet>
Greece’s government has announced the details of a new property tax, which it said it must introduce to qualify for a sorely needed 8 billion euros loan tranche by plugging a 2 billion euros budget shortfall. Announcing the new tax after an emergency cabinet meeting last Sunday morning, finance minister Evangelos Venizelos said his government had no option but to do “everything necessary” to cover the budget shortfall, following a deeper-than-expected recession. Forecasting that the next two months would be “hellish” for the Greek people, Mr Venizelos said the revenue shortfalls threatened the country’s vital international bailout program. He added that, along with efforts announced last week to reduce the size of the country’s public sector, the new measures would boost lagging revenue by 2 billion euros, or about 1 per cent of annual gross domestic product. The new property tax will see property owners pay 50 cents to 10 euros per square metre according to the value of the property, with the total amount payable being calculated according to various social criteria, such as the owner’s income and the size of his or her family. On average, property owners can expect to pay 4 euros per square metre of built surface. The government opted to include the tax in electricity bills because they contain data on both the size of apartments and their age. The tax will be levied on all buildings with an electricity supply, whether residential or holiday homes, but low-population areas may be exempted. Industrial installations and hotels might also be exempted but shops will have to pay. Those liable to pay the tax will be property owners and not tenants. The unemployed and low-paid pensioners will be exempted, while low-income families on the so-called social electricity tariff will be subject to the lowest rate. Sunday’s announcement of the new blanket property tax, which has been condemned vociferously by all of Greece’s opposition parties, has severely undermined the fragile credibility of Prime Minister George Papandreou, who, in a keynote address delivered on Saturday evening at the country’s major international trade fair in Thessaloniki, gave no indication that the new surtax was on its way. In his speech, Mr Papandreou said that, in an effort to tackle unemployment, his government would soon begin distributing 100,000 hectares of land to young people who wanted to become farmers. He also pledged to boost investment in tourism and solar power development. The fair was accompanied by extensive rioting on the streets of the northern port city, as some 25,000 people attended an anti-austerity protest. Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
The exact details of when Yvonne Payne, 73, started playing piano are a little hazy to her now.In the early 1950s, she was living with her mother in a part of Longview where she said African Americans were concentrated due to discriminatory rental practices. She would tag along with her mother, who earned money cleaning a woman’s house. The woman owned a piano.“That was too many years ago,” said Payne, who now lives in Hazel Dell. “I guess I was playing on it and this lady started me in piano lessons.”She said that the woman contacted a local piano teacher named Esther Hill, and paid for Payne’s lessons.More than 60 years later, she is one of the few black female business owners in Clark County, with Ebony Notes, which she started in 1986. She’s a solo pianist for local weddings, restaurants and other places that seek piano services.‘As Time Goes By’On a recent Tuesday, she had booked a performance at Glenwood Place Senior Living. Payne toted a suitcase with binders of sheet music, and her own stool, because she likes to sit a bit higher than the standard piano bench.Residents gathered in Glenwood Place’s plaza for a happy hour — complete with a selection of wine and snacks — while Payne played familiar melodies in the background. She started with “As Time Goes By” by Herman Hupfeld, made famous by the 1942 film “Casablanca.”
Seemingly every month there’s some children’s animation that your friends say you just have to see. Sure, they say, it looks like a kids’ cartoon, but there’s actually a lot for you to enjoy, too! But here’s the thing: You’re an adult. You’re a grown-up. You don’t want a kids movie that adults can also enjoy, you want a cartoon that’s made specifically for people who are allowed to buy their own alcohol.So here, without further ado, are the absolute best cartoons for grown-ass people: What are some of your favorite animated shows and movies for adults? Tell us about them down in the comments below!Aubrey Sitterson is the creator of the ongoing sword & sorcery serial podcast, SKALD, available on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher & Podomatic. Follow him on Twitter or check out his website for more information. Æon Flux1/11Before Æon Flux was a totally fine live action flick with Charlize Theron, it was a groundbreaking Peter Chung cartoon on MTV. Set in a dystopian future, replete with wild technology, bizarre gods, and a metric ton of S&M fetish wear, at its heart, Æon Flux was really about a deeply dangerous, deeply passionate romantic relationship.<><>
Police search for missing woman Driver named following fatal collision Punter found hiding in bushes Drivers are being warned to avoid the M6 after a crash between a lorry, a van and a caravan has caused delays for 12 miles. Emergency services were called to the scene on the southbound carriageway between junction 13 for Stafford South and junction 12 for Gailey. Two lanes are currently closed, with traffic backing up beyond junction 14 for Stafford North. A spokesman for traffic monitoring company Inrix confirmed police had removed all of the vehicles to the outer lane. Read MoreFour men arrested after police officer attacked during incident at North Staffordshire pub He said: “Two lanes are closed and there is queuing traffic for 12 miles due to debris on road and an accident involving a lorry, a van, a car and caravan involved on M6 Southbound from M6 J13 / A449 (Stafford South) to M6 J12 / A5 (Gailey). “Congestion to J14 (Stafford North). Travel time is 40 minutes. Lanes Three and Four (of Four) are now open. Lanes One and Two remain closed. “Police have removed all vehicles to Lane One and are clearing the debris in Lane Two.” Follow more updates in our live blog below. Read MoreTop stories on StokeonTrentLive Dad slams ‘disgusting’ hospital window Follow StokeonTrentLive Download our app – You can download our free app for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store , or get the Android version from Google Play . Follow StokeonTrentLive on Facebook – Like our Facebook page to get the latest news in your feed and join in the lively discussions in the comments. Click here to give it a like! Follow us on Twitter – For breaking news and the latest stories, click here to follow SOTLive on Twitter . Follow us on Instagram – Featuring pictures past and present from across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire & South Cheshire – and if you tag us in your posts, we could repost your picture on our page! We also put the latest news in our Instagram Stories. Click here to follow StokeonTrentLive on Instagram . 12:46Residual delays, but traffic is easingTraffic easing on M6 Southbound at J14 A34 (Stafford North).Residual delays following an accident earlier between J13 and J12. 12:07Update from Highways EnglandThe M6 currently has residual delays of at least 50 minutes between J13 and J12 near Stafford, covering several miles of the southbound carriageway. The delays are due to an earlier road traffic collision involving a caravan and HGV which closed lanes 1 and 2 (of 4). Recovery and clear-up is now complete. All lanes re-opened at 12pm today.For traffic approaching the delays locally, you are advised to expect disruption with extra journey time and you may wish to re-route or delay your journey. 11:47Another picture of the crash sceneAnother picture of the scene on the M6 (Image: Highways England)11:39Slow traffic in Dunston as people try to avoid M6Slow traffic on B5012 Boscomoor Lane Southbound from M6 (Stafford South, Dunston) to Wolverhampton Road (Penkridge).Due to traffic avoiding the accident on the M6 between J13 and J12. 11:33No injuries reportedA West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: One paramedic officer came across the collision just before 10.30am and stopped to render assistance. No injuries have been reported.”11:25Police recovering the vehiclesPolice have have removed the debris from Lane Two and are in the process of recovering vehicles. 11:24Highways at the sceneLane 1,2 and 3 ( of 4) blocked on the #M6 Southbound between J13 #StaffordSouth and Junction 12 #Gailey due an accident. #TrafficOfficers are en route— Highways England (@HighwaysWMIDS) June 19, 2019
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MEXICO CITY – For the past seven years, Mexico and the United States have put aside their tension-filled history on security matters to forge an unparalleled alliance against Mexico’s drug cartels, one based on sharing sensitive intelligence, U.S. training, and joint operational planning.But now, much of that hard-earned cooperation may be in jeopardy.The December inauguration of President Enrique Peña Nieto brought the nationalistic Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) back to power after 13 years, and with it a whiff of resentment over the deep U.S. involvement in Mexico’s fight against narco-traffickers.The new administration has shifted priorities away from the U.S.-backed strategy of arresting kingpins, which sparked an unprecedented level of violence among the cartels, and toward an emphasis on prevention and keeping Mexico’s streets safe and calm, Mexican authorities said.Some U.S. officials fear the coming of an unofficial truce with cartel leaders. The Mexicans see it otherwise. “The objective of fighting organized crime is not in conflict with achieving peace,” said Eduardo Medina Mora, Mexico’s ambassador to the United States.Interviews with more than four dozen current and former U.S. and Mexican diplomats, law enforcement agents, military officers and intelligence officials – most of whom agreed to speak about sensitive matters only on condition of anonymity – paint the most detailed public portrait to date of how the two countries grew so close after so many years of distance and distrust, and what is at stake should the alliance be scaled back.U.S. officials got their first inkling that the relationship might change just two weeks after Peña Nieto assumed office Dec. 1. At the U.S. ambassador’s request, the new president sent his top five security officials to an unusual meeting at the U.S. Embassy here. In a crowded conference room, the new attorney general and interior minister sat in silence, not knowing what to expect, next to the new leaders of the army, navy and Mexican intelligence agency.In front of them at the Dec. 15 meeting were representatives from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the CIA, the FBI, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and other U.S. agencies tasked with helping Mexico destroy the drug cartels that had besieged the country for the past decade.The Mexicans remained stone-faced as they learned for the first time just how entwined the two countries had become during the battle against narco-traffickers, and how, in the process, the United States had been given near-complete entree to Mexico’s territory and the secrets of its citizens, according to several U.S. officials familiar with the meeting. By then, cartels had begun employing assassination squads, according to Guillermo Valdes, who was CISEN director at the time. CISEN discovered from a captured videotape and a special analytical group it set up that some of the cartels had hired former members of the U.S.-trained Guatemalan special forces, the Kaibiles, to create sociopathic killers who could behead a man, torture a child or immerse a captive in a vat of acid.Anxious to counterattack, the CIA proposed electronically emptying the bank accounts of drug kingpins, but was turned down by the Treasury Department and the White House, which feared unleashing chaos in the banking system.As the Mexican death toll mounted, Calderon pleaded with Bush for armed drones. He had been impressed by the results in Iraq and Afghanistan, two former U.S. officials said. The White House considered the request, but quickly rejected it. It was far too likely to result in collateral damage, they said.By 2009, President Barack Obama’s first year in office, horrific scenes had become commonplace throughout Mexico: severed heads thrown onto a dance floor, a half-dozen bodies hanged from a bridge, bombs embedded in cadavers. Ciudad Juarez, a stone’s throw from El Paso, was a virtual killing zone.Obama approved an intensification of bilateral measures. Deputy national security adviser John Brennan, also in charge of counterterrorism operations focused on al-Qaida, led the U.S. side. His Mexican partner was CISEN director Valdes.“We got people together to define the operations,” Valdes said in an interview. Every new program was vetted by Mexico’s security team and often by Calderon. The day-to-day operations were conceived in Mexico and approved by the U.S. ambassador at the time, Carlos Pascual, and the specific Mexican agency head involved.The first important decision was to use the same “high-value target” strategy that had been so successful against al-Qaida in Iraq and Afghanistan. U.S. authorities used real-time intelligence against kingpins on a Mexican-U.S. priority list – including cellphone geolocation, wiretaps, electronic intercepts and tracking of digital records – to help Mexican authorities target them.The second was to clean up the Mexican units that would be responsible for carrying out raids.As early as 1997, the DEA had funded the creation of Sensitive Investigative Units (SIU) made up of foreign nationals, first in Colombia, then in Bolivia, Peru and Mexico, and eventually in nine other countries. By mid-2006, the DEA had two units with a total of 184 members in Mexico alone, according to a DEA inspector general’s report. The Mexicans were brought for training to the DEA’s facility at Quantico.Mexico does not allow U.S. agents to take part in the actual raids, but they can be involved in planning operations and can even direct them remotely.The CIA also has trained units in raid tactics, protection of senior officials, intelligence collecting and, in a departure for the spy agency, in gathering and preserving evidence that can be used in court.To guard against penetration from the cartels, members were polygraphed, drug-tested and vetted for criminal and financial irregularities. But operations were still routinely exposed by moles inserted by the cartels. So, beginning in 2009, the size of the units was cut significantly. Those who remained worked under cover and lived in secret safe houses. The U.S. agencies they worked with provided special cellphones and even paid their salaries and set up their bank accounts. There are now six or seven SIUs in Mexico, sponsored by the DEA, CIA and at least one other U.S. law enforcement agency.The two countries also have constructed an elaborate physical infrastructure and developed protocols for sharing sensitive, often real-time intelligence. Garza, the former U.S. ambassador, called it “the plumbing” of the security relationship.“We started to appreciate that the same sort of plumbing construction for counterterrorism naturally translated into other security cooperation,” he said.By 2011, the plumbing extended to a CIA-run fusion center in Mexico City, a DEA-sponsored fusion center in Monterrey, a federal police bunker of “Star Wars”-like screens and computer terminals, also in the capital city, as well as separate military and federal police intelligence centers and one inside the headquarters of CISEN.“They gave us intelligence, they helped teach us the 24-hour intelligence cycle, helped build up our intelligence centers and taught us the importance of connecting intelligence to operations,” said Valdes, the CISEN director until September 2011. “Both DEA and the [CIA] helped, and we had a high level of support from Washington.”The infrastructure also has included regional law enforcement headquarters with temporary war rooms set up during large-scale Mexican military and federal police operations in Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana and Acapulco.To support Mexican operations in Ciudad Juarez, U.S. authorities arranged two brainstorming sessions at nearby Fort Bliss in Texas for their Mexican counterparts. Experts were brought in, including, upon Mexican request, the police chief of New Orleans, from whom they wanted to learn about the civilian large-scale control and relief measures after Hurricane Katrina.U.S. liaison officers remained on hand inside the federal police war room in Ciudad Juarez for more than two years, according to U.S. and former Mexican officials involved.The bulk of the U.S. work finding cartel members depends on the DEA’s exhaustive network of informants and undercover agents. Their information usually trumps what Mexican authorities bring to the table, particularly because local and state police remain riddled with corruption.DEA-provided information led to the killing of cartel leader Arturo Beltran Leyva in December 2009. The cartel not only moved significant quantities of cocaine into the United States but also had penetrated the highest level of Mexico’s institutions. His death gave Calderon his first significant victory in the militarized anti-cartel campaign.But planning for the Beltran Leyva operation had to overcome significant hitches. The CIA persuaded the embassy team to give the mission to a specialized Mexican army unit it was working with at the time. But the army chain of command dragged its feet. After several weeks of delay, the DEA insisted the mission be given to Mexico’s more aggressive Naval Special Forces.In another successful mission, the DEA in the summer of 2010 was able to locate the multiple cellphones of U.S.-born kingpin Edgar Valdez Villarreal, known as “La Barbie” for his Ken-doll good looks. The drug agency tracked his travels over time, allowing Mexican authorities to pursue him through five Mexican states. He was captured in August 2010 and is in Mexican custody, still awaiting extradition to the United States.Drones became part of the mix, too.In July 2009, hours after Mexican smugglers shot and killed a U.S. Border Patrol agent while trying to steal his night-vision goggles, U.S. authorities were given permission to fly an unarmed Predator drone into Mexican airspace to hunt for suspects. Intelligence from the flights was passed to the Mexican army. Within 12 hours, the army brought back more information, according to two U.S. officials involved in the operation. Eventually, four suspects were captured. Three pleaded guilty, one is awaiting trial and a fifth remains at large.That first flight dispelled Mexican fears that U.S. authorities would try to take control of drone operations. An agreement was reached that would temporarily give operational control to Mexican authorities during such flights. U.S. pilots sitting in the States would control the planes remotely, but a Mexican military or federal police commander would be able to direct the pilot within the boundaries of a Mexico-designated grid.By late 2010, drones were flying deeper into Mexico to spy on the cartels, as they did during the two-day gun battle involving 800 federal police that resulted in the death of Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, head of the ultra-violent La Familia Michoacana cartel.By then, Mexican authorities had grown so enamored with drones that they were requesting more flights than the United States could deliver, given that most of the aircraft were being used to support operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Pakistan. So Mexican authorities bought their own drones. The first public indication of this development came when one crashed in El Paso in December 2010.“Eventually, when they got better at using their own, they would fly more missions than we would,” said one former law enforcement official involved in drone operations.Four months and many conversations after the Dec. 15 meeting, the new Mexican government is still fleshing out the details of its counterdrug approach.In a visit to Washington two weeks ago, Mexico’s top security team shared the broad outlines of the plan with U.S. agencies, according to U.S. and Mexican officials. It contains many changes.The president will not be nearly as directly involved in counterdrug efforts as Calderon was, the officials said. The interior minister will coordinate the relationships between various Mexican and U.S. agencies and other Mexican units. The director of the Mexican intelligence agency will decide which Mexican agency should receive and act on sensitive U.S. information.Given the corruption of Mexican law enforcement and armed forces, U.S. officials said privately they would be unwilling to share sensitive information until they have vetted the people involved and understand how their information is to be protected.The Mexican government also plans to create five regional intelligence fusion centers, staffed with federal and state officials, and to build a 10,000-member super police force. This force would be steeped in military discipline but would use police tactics, rather than overwhelming military force, to keep violence to a minimum.Medina Mora, the Mexican ambassador, said in an interview that his nation considers U.S. help in the drug war “a centerpiece” of Mexico’s counternarcotics strategy. But the Mexican delegation in Washington also informed U.S. authorities that Americans will no longer be allowed to work inside any fusion center, including the one in Monterrey. The DEA agents and retired military contractors there will have to go.Several senior U.S. officials say U.S. agencies stand ready to help in any way the new administration allows.They anxiously await further details.Julie Tate in Washington and Gabriela Martinez in Mexico City contributed to this report. © 2013, The Washington Post Facebook Comments The administration of former president Felipe Calderon had granted high-flying U.S. spy planes access to Mexican airspace for the purpose of gathering intelligence. Unarmed Customs and Border Protection drones had flown from bases in the United States in support of Mexican military and federal police raids against drug targets and to track movements that would establish suspects’ “patterns of life.” The United States had also provided electronic signals technology, ground sensors, voice-recognition gear, cellphone-tracking devices, data analysis tools, computer hacking kits and airborne cameras that could read license plates from three miles away.Under a classified program code-named SCENIC, the CIA was training Mexicans in how to target and vet potential assets for recruitment and how to guard against infiltration by narco-traffickers.In deference to their visitors, the U.S. briefers left out the fact that most of the 25 kingpin taken off the streets in the past five years had been removed because of U.S.-supplied information, often including the location of top cartel members in real time, according to people familiar with the meeting. The CIA and Calderon declined to comment for this article.Also unremarked upon was the mounting criticism that success against the cartels’ leadership had helped incite more violence than anyone had predicted, more than 60,000 deaths and 25,000 disappearances in the past seven years alone.Meanwhile, the drug flow into the United States continued unabated. Mexico remains the U.S. market’s largest supplier of heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine and the transshipment point for 95 percent of its cocaine.No one had come up with a quick, realistic alternative to Calderon’s novel use of the Mexican military with U.S. support. But stopping the cartel violence had become Peña Nieto’s top priority during the campaign. The U.S. administration didn’t know what that meant. Some feared a scaling back of the bilateral efforts and a willingness to trade the relentless drive against cartel leaders for calmer streets.When the Dec. 15 meeting concluded, Mexico’s new security officials remained poker-faced, “They said they were very appreciative to have received so much information,” said one U.S. official familiar with the meeting. We will be in touch, they added, and left.U.S. involvement in Mexico’s deteriorating internal security first peaked in the mid-1980s when the cocaine epidemic in the United States turned the southern neighbor into a prosperous distribution route north. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed a National Security Decision Directive instructing U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies to help defeat the growing narco-trafficking menace worldwide.Beginning in the late 1980s, a massive U.S. air, sea and land effort was shutting down many Caribbean drug routes. The traffickers were increasingly forced to move their product through the only territory left unhindered: Mexico.Mexico’s secret security ties with the United States date at least to the Cold War, when Mexico City was a hub of intrigue, the “Beirut of the Western Hemisphere,” according to intelligence history scholar Sergio Aguayo. To keep an eye on the United States, the Soviet Union and China had their largest embassies here, necessitating a large CIA presence.Back then, the Mexican intelligence service, CISEN, “was basically run by the CIA,” according to one former CISEN official. Although that has changed with time, the unusually close relationship between Mexican presidents and CIA chiefs has not. Then-CIA director David Petraeus attended a party at the Mexican Embassy in Washington in 2011 and visited Calderon in Mexico last year. As many of his predecessors had done, Calderon usually met with the CIA director when he came to Washington.The CIA’s importance here can be explained, in part, by the historically strained dealings between Mexico and the DEA and U.S. military. “There was a void that the CIA stepped into,” said Jeffrey Davidow, a former U.S. ambassador to Mexico and author of a book about the prickly relationship between the two countries.In the mid-1980s, the DEA had been virtually banished from the country because of its aggressive pursuit of a slain DEA agent’s killers. But that relationship has improved greatly in the past five years. Now, the DEA has more employees in Mexico than in any other of its 67 foreign posts.In 2000, a political earthquake in Mexico paved the way for a less suspicious era between the two neighbors. The 71-year political reign of the authoritarian and corrupt PRI ended with the election of Vicente Fox of the National Action Party as president. The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States turned the new openness into unprecedented bilateral action against terrorism.The two countries fortified the border with personnel and surveillance technology. Eventually, a protocol was worked out for Mexico to stop, detain and interrogate non-Mexicans traveling north toward the United States. Mexican authorities allow U.S. officials to remotely question third-country nationals of concern to the United States, according to Mexican and U.S. officials.Clamping down on illegal border crossings, however, had an unintended consequence: It upset agreements among the cartels over smuggling routes, sparking yet more violent competition.By the time Calderon was inaugurated in late 2006, many experts believed that Mexico was losing control of parts of the country. Even before his inauguration, Calderon pleaded with President George W. Bush to help the Mexican military quash the cartels, according to Antonio Garza, then U.S. ambassador to Mexico, who attended a meeting between the presidents.Bush agreed to help, and the Merida Initiative, a $1.9 billion aid package for military training and equipment and judicial reform, set the framework for a new level of U.S.-Mexican cooperation. In a little-noticed move, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence took a leading role in the U.S. effort to defeat the cartels, signaling the importance of intelligence in combating organized crime. By Dana Priest | The Washington Post No related posts.
Launched in 2007, NASA’s Dawn space probe mission is currently in orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres after successfully completing its study of Vesta. Dawn is the first spacecraft to orbit two extraterrestrial bodies during the same mission, and is providing new insights about the origins of our solar system.Over the past few months this historic space mission caught the imagination of a group of young Costa Rican English students in the town of Santa Ana, west of San José. In my capacity as their English teacher, I introduced some of my most science-oriented students to the Dawn project, and they began their own research on the mission. It is a particularly natural field of study for young Costa Ricans, given the country’s growing involvement with the aerospace industry: Costa Rica is the birthplace of NASA Hall of Fame astronaut Dr. Franklin Chang, who shares the record for number of space flights (seven), and one of NASA’s top engineers, Sandra Kaufmann, who is the Deputy Project Manager on NASA’s Mars MAVEN mission.To cap off their project, the students contacted the Dawn team directly to ask them a few questions about scientific aspects of the project and seek some career guidance. What better way to learn about a project than from the people working on it? Dawn Flight Engineer Kristina Larson and Dawn Education and Public Outreach Lead Joe Wise kindly took time out of their busy schedules to correspond with the kids. Here is an excerpt from the exchange.Valeria Salazar Jiménez, age 15: What benefits will the Dawn mission provide for the world, and what is your favorite part about working for NASA?Kristina Larson: Dawn is the first spacecraft to orbit two extraterrestrial bodies, as well as the first spacecraft to orbit a dwarf planet. Dawn uses a unique form of propulsion, ion propulsion, which is more than 10 times more efficient as standard chemical propulsion. Dawn used its Framing Camera, Visible and Infrared Spectrometer, and Gamma Ray & Neutron Detector at Vesta to map the topography and composition, and will be doing the same at Ceres. Understanding how these two proto-planets formed gives us clues into the formation of our solar system.My favorite part is seeing images taken by the spacecraft when they first are downlinked to Earth. I have experienced this with Dawn, with both images of Vesta and Ceres, as well as when I worked on the Opportunity rover. Every day we would see the new images taken the previous day of Mars. It’s so exciting to think that these spacecraft that we build on Earth are traveling far into our solar system and sending us back these current images of alien planets. You never know what you’re going to see when you come to work, and I absolutely love that! Dawn Mission Education and Public Outreach Lead Joe Wise. Courtesy of NASAAnthony Callow-Monge, age 16: What made you interested in joining this type of project? What is the work environment like? KL: I have always loved all things space, whether it was planetary science discoveries or sci-fi shows like Stargate SG-1. This motivated me to pursue an internship at JPL [a branch of NASA] and join the Dawn project. The work environment is awesome! JPL is not for profit; this provides a very different atmosphere from a for-profit company. Everyone is so passionate about the space exploration that we do and everyone is working towards that common goal. Members of Dawn really took the time to teach me space operations and provided a great learning environment.Edwin Emery, age 13: If humans were sent to Ceres, what would be the fastest travel time to get there?Joe Wise: This is one of the reasons that there is no talk about establishing a manned station on Ceres. Getting there in a reasonable time is prohibitively expensive. Dawn utilized ion propulsion to make the mission affordable. As an example, the ion engine would accelerate from 0 – 60 mph in about 4 days. It has a very gentle thrust, but it is consistent. The engine is very efficient so that we only use a little fuel for our trip, but the payback is that it takes a very long time to get there.Anthony Callow-Monge: How far do you think space exploration will have advanced by 2025?KL: The sky’s the limit! Wait – actually, there is no limit in space. Upcoming missions include the Europa Clipper mission and Mars 2020 (re-fly of MSL). Other projects in the works are the Asteroid Retrieval Mission and even possibly a Mars return mission. By 2025 we should also be much farther down the road in knowing how to take humans farther than the moon. Exciting times!No one should be surprised if more Costa Ricans in the near future are inspired to assume important roles in the aerospace industry and NASA. For more information on the Dawn project, visit the mission’s website. Facebook Comments Related posts:NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft enters Mars orbit A rocket landing in Tortuguero? Costa Rica’s Franklin Chang pushes space agenda in Washington Gravitational waves: Are scientists about to open a new window on the universe?
Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Parents, stop beating yourself up Comments Share Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Transocean said in a statement that it is “vigorously pursuing the overturn or suspension of the preliminary injunction.”Chevron did not immediately reply to a request for comment.The injunctions were served two weeks after Brazil’s top appeals court upheld an order for the two companies to suspend their petroleum drilling and transportation operations.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Associated PressSAO PAULO (AP) – A federal court has served Chevron Corp. and driller Transocean Ltd. with preliminary injunctions ordering them to suspend operations in Brazil until investigations are completed into two oil spills off Rio de Janeiro’s coast.A court official said Thursday the two companies have 30 days to cease operations. The official did not provide further details. She spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak to the press. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Patients with chronic pain give advice Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Expanding its global network and tapping into the growing travel market down under, Qatar Airways has released plans to launch new flights into Perth next year.Speaking at the Dubai Air Show earlier this week, the carrier’s chief executive Akbar Al Baker said the route will be the carrier’s second service into Australia, following on from its first service into Melbourne and will be launched over the coming months. Revealing the company’s route focus next year, Mr Al Baker said the airline is also looking to add extra services into Africa, Europe and the Middle East.Main cities include from the carrier’s hub in Doha to Finnish capital Helsinki, Croatia’s capital city of Zagreb, Gassim in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and three East African cities – Zanzibar, Kigali and Mombasa, in Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya.“We are continuing what we started back in 1997 when Qatar Airways was launched with new routes and new aircraft being introduced at an unprecedented rate to further strengthen what is truly a global network airline,” Mr Al Baker explained. He said the carrier’s “key” mission was to target business and leisure destinations across the globe as well as “underserved” markets other airlines would be unwilling to enter.“We take bold decisions to serve certain markets because we believe it makes strong business sense,” he added.“Today’s announcement shows the confidence Qatar Airways has in such a diverse range of destinations. “We look forward to offering even greater choice to the travelling public that they so deserve.”As well the carrier will commence with previously announced flights to Baku and Tbilisi, the capital cities of Azerbaijan and Georgia from 1 February next year. Also planned to commence from 28 November this year will be the carrier’s fifth gateway into China, between Doha and Chongqing.