Mitsubishi is the latest Japanese firm to take a second look at coal investments

first_imgMitsubishi is the latest Japanese firm to take a second look at coal investments FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Australian Financial Review ($):Australia’s biggest thermal coal customer is hardening its attitude towards the fuel, with Japan’s biggest bank and one of Japan’s biggest power and mining conglomerates tightening their coal investment policies in recent days.Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, which is Japan’s largest lender and largest bank by assets, said it was reviewing its lending policies for coal-fired power generation and would limit support to “high-efficiency” generation which helped reduce emissions including through carbon capture and storage. The bank also said its lending would be guided by OECD standards, which encourage lending only to high-efficiency “ultra-supercritical” coal-fired power plants.The comments came just days after Marubeni, which has equity investments in six Australian coal mines and seven Asian power stations, said it would halve its coal-fired generation capacity by 2030 and double the percentage of renewables in its portfolio by 2023.“As a general principle, Marubeni will no longer enter into any new coal-fired power generation business. However, Marubeni might consider pursuing projects that adopt best available technology which at present is ultra-supercritical steam-generating technology,” Marubeni said.The landmark statements from the two companies continue a recent trend among Japan’s top corporations, and highlights the long-term challenge facing Australia’s thermal coal sector, which shipped 41% of its exports to Japan in fiscal 2017.“It is not just Marubeni moving in isolation … It is more representative of a sea change in senior corporate and government thinking in Japan,” said Tim Buckley, from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, an organisation whose mission is to accelerate the world’s energy transition. “It is a bit like when our big four [Australian] banks all moved two or three years ago.”More ($): Major Japanese banks, traders tighten coal policylast_img read more

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Seaport Global analysts project sharp drop in U.S. thermal coal exports in 2019 and 2020

first_imgSeaport Global analysts project sharp drop in U.S. thermal coal exports in 2019 and 2020 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): U.S. thermal coal exports are expected to fall as much as 12% in 2019 and 25% in 2020 given the declining Northern European delivered price, which will put pressure on the U.S. utility and lower-grade U.S. metallurgical prices, Seaport Global analysts wrote April 8.Since October 2018, when the S&P Global Platts CIF ARA was assessed above $100/t, the price front-month CIF ARA price has dropped about 47% to $55.05/t on April 5. The price level for healthy U.S. exporters, Seaport senior analyst Mark Levin and senior associate analyst Nathan Martin wrote, is between $80/t and $90/t, based off the API2 price, with $75/t as the lower limit to keep exports afloat.On April 5, the analysts noted an API2 price of $74/t.Several U.S. producers have locked in tons into the export market at fixed prices, but “a lot of coal that was previously targeted for the export market could find its way back into the U.S. domestic utility market later [in 2019] and in 2020,” Levin and Martin wrote, which would put extra pressure on U.S. utility prices in heavy thermal export regions such as Northern Appalachia and the Illinois Basin.Approximately 54 million tonnes were exported into Europe and Asia when the front-month price averaged $92/t for the year, compared with exports averaging 35 million tonnes in the preceding five years when the price averaged $72/t.Levin and Martin listed a mild winter in Europe, weak natural gas prices, restriction in Australian imports into China, along with more Russian coal making its way into Europe as reasons why the price has dropped so significantly.More ($): Seaport: Falling U.S. thermal coal exports to put pressure on local utility marketlast_img read more

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Impact of Paper Products

first_imgDear EarthTalk: Are any major brands of disposable tissues, paper towels, napkins and toilet paper yet using recycled content and chlorine-free bleaching? — Sylvia Comstock, Montpelier, VTNot many. In fact, some of the biggest names in disposable paper products are the worst offenders. According to the nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), forests at home and abroad are being destroyed to make toilet paper, facial tissues, paper towels and other disposable paper products. Giant paper producers such as Kimberly-Clark (Scott, Cottonelle, Kleenex and Viva) and Procter & Gamble (Puffs, Charmin and Bounty) are, in the words of NRDC, “forcing the destruction of our continent’s most vibrant forests, and devastating the habitat for countless wildlife species in the process.”Much of the virgin pulp used by these large manufacturers comes from Canada’s boreal forest. Some 500,000 acres of boreal forest in Ontario and Alberta alone—key habitat for caribou, lynx, wolves and scores of birds—are felled each year to provide pulp for disposable paper. Beyond wildlife concerns, Canada’s boreal forest, which stretches from coast to coast, comprises perhaps the world’s largest terrestrial storehouse of carbon dioxide, so it is critical to keep it intact to help mitigate global warming.Kimberly-Clark uses some 1.1 million cubic meters of trees from Canada’s boreal forests each year to produce 465,000 metric tons of pulp. Only 19 percent of the pulp it uses to make home use disposable paper products comes from recycled sources. Some of its brands, including Kleenex and Scott, contain no recycled content whatsoever. Nor do Procter and Gamble’s Bounty, Charmin or Puffs, says NRDC.Another issue with tissue (and paper overall) is the use of chlorine for whitening. Chlorine used in many bleaching processes contributes to the formation of dioxins and furans, chemicals that end up in our air and water and can cause cancer. Safer processes use oxygen compounds and result in paper that is “totally chlorine free,” “process chlorine free” (chlorine free except for recycled fibers that were previously chlorine-bleached) or “elemental chlorine free,” which substitutes safer chlorine dioxide for chlorine.NRDC and other groups are pressuring the tissue products industry to change its ways, and are working to educate consumers about their options when buying tissue paper products. NRDC’s online “Shopper’s Guide to Home Tissue Products” offers reams of free advice on which brands to look for—and which to avoid. Marcal is the only household name that NRDC rates high on paper sourcing (100 percent recycled and 40 to 60 percent post-consumer content) and chlorine use (process chlorine-free). Brands ranking highest (up to 80 percent post-consumer content and process-chlorine free) include 365 (the Whole Foods brand), Seventh Generation, Earth First, and Planet, among others. No brands are totally chlorine free.In general, consumers should seek out brands that specifically tout use of 100 percent recycled materials with a high percentage (40 percent or more) of post-consumer waste, and not just keywords like “green” or “eco” on their labels, which may be misleading. Also, before you even purchase that next roll of disposable paper think about how you can reduce the amount you use in the first place. Paper tissues, towels and napkins, for example, have re-usable options in handkerchiefs and cotton towels and napkins.CONTACTS: NRDC Shopper’s Guide to Home Tissue Products, www.nrdc.org/land/forests/gtissue.asp; Kimberly-Clark, www.kimberly-clark.com; Procter & Gamble, www.pg.com.GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? Send it to: EarthTalk, c/o E/The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; submit it at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalk/thisweek/, or e-mail: [email protected] Read past columns at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalk/archives.php.last_img read more

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Fly Fishing Escatawba Farms

first_imgEscatawba from Summit Publishing on Vimeo.When Derrick Barr’s grandfather bought into Escatawba Farms outside of Covington, Virginia in 1945, he surely did not imagine it would become one of the premier private trout fisheries in Virginia. For over a decade, Barr has been providing fly fishermen the opportunity to hook into big browns, bows and brookies on the 2.5 mile portion of Dunlap Creek that meanders through Escatawba.The cool waters of Dunlap originate from a series of natural springs in Sweet Springs, WV and flow 12 miles to the property border, fed by five other spring creeks along the way, along with another five that feed it on the farm. This keeps the water temperature cool enough for stocked trout to hold over the hot summer months and grow into some major pigs. Along with the stockers, however, is a significant population of native brook trout. Barr has also invested time and money into improvements to the creek, including installing stone J-hooks to provide a better habitat for the fish. The design and installation of the J-hooks was supervised by the Virginia Game Commission and a stream restoration biologist to make them as natural as possible.All this adds up to some banging dry fly action as you can see.The fish are big and plentiful, but fishing here is no walk in the park. Although the stream is bigger than one might expect, the water is clear and the trout wily. They will spook, so presentation is still the number one tool to hooking into that trophy. Barr says to take your time fishing the pockets and move slowly to maximize the time your line is in the water.Now, Escatawba will cost you a rod fee, but Barr has set up his operation to maximize customer satisfaction. Anglers on the water are limited to eight a day, so even if the stream is at “capacity” you will not have to battle for position. There is also a stream-side shelter with a fire pit, grill, picknick tables and hammocks for a mid-day snooze. Basically everything you would ever need for a day on the water.For more information, check out their website at www.escatawba.com. You’ll be glad you did.last_img read more

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A Long Distance Runner Selects his Go-To Gear

first_imgErick White wasn’t always a long-distance runner. The 23-year-old Philadelphia native grew up playing soccer and running the 800 on his school’s track team, but after moving to Atlanta in August, he discovered his love (and talent) for running distance. This year, White won the StumpJump 15K, a fast, technical trail race on Lookout Mountain outside of Chattanooga, and placed fourth overall at the Georgia Marathon. It was White’s first time running a marathon, and the finish earned him the chance to compete in the Boston Marathon in the fall. The StumpJump win was just as surprising to White. “I hadn’t raced on trails in years, and then it was all singletrack so there’s no room to maneuver,” White says. “The terrain was so different than most races—rocky, trails that aren’t well defined. Honestly, I’m surprised I didn’t get lost.”White, who races for Front Runners, Atlanta’s LGBT running club, is still getting used to running in the Southern heat. But he’s enjoying exploring Atlanta’s surprisingly robust trail scene. “Running is such a great way to relieve stress. It’s so meditative, and you can always find a good group of people to run with.”We asked White to detail the gear he relies on during his runs. Here’s his minimalist take on running gear.Mizuno Wave Rider 20 ($120)I have to run in these. I have a light pronation, and these provide good stability. They’re lightweight, but really soft. And they make a waterproof version now.Feeture Elite Merino ($16.99)I like the slim, snug feel of these socks, and they don’t rub or chafe on my ankle. There’s no toe seam, and the Merino wool wicks pretty well.Columbia Montrail Caldarado II ($120)A featherweight 10.4 ounces, these nimble trail shoes are quick and responsive on technical terrain. Completely redesigned, the Caldarado II features an easy-fit, fully integrated tongue and a seamless toe cap. Built for speed on rugged trails, these shoes offer a fun, fast, fluid ride.Under Armour No Breaks ($60)I’m always looking to cut weight, so I usually run without a shirt, and I prefer wearing split shirts. In the winter, I run warm and I can handle the cold pretty well. But if it’s really cold, I make sure I have tights on my legs to keep them warm. I like Under Armour No Breaks tights. These have built-in briefs, a key pocket and just enough compression in the fabric.Showers Pass Crosspoint Hardshell Gloves ($95)These are the gloves you want for winter adventure in the mountains. Waterproof, rugged, and durable, they can handle rip-roaring snowsports action or burly winter summits. Yet they are also flexible and maneuverable, providing outstanding dexterity. Most importantly, they keep digits toasty warm even on frigid nights in the backcountry.AfterShokz Titanium Trekz Headphones ($130)Lightweight and sweatproof, these wireless bluetooth headphones use bone conduction technology and an open-ear design to provide stereo sound and crystal clear communication while still allowing you to hear your surroundings safely.Electric Knoxville XL-S ($120)These lightweight, full-coverage frames are built for performance. Polarized polycarbonate lenses protect from UV and blue light, and the scratch-resistant, hydrophobic lens coatings hold up well on rugged backcountry outings.The Marathon Stick ($31.95)I always bring The Stick to roll out my legs before and after the run. I think it helps with recovery after a long run.Gel Blocks ($2.79)Obviously, food is important on longer runs. I like those Clif Gel Blocks. I can manage to keep a few of them in my shorts while I’m running. Sometimes I keep it simple with oranges and bananas too, for the electrolytes. Those Sport Beans do well too. They’re quick and easy and I can get them down without too much effort.last_img read more

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Toxic algae is spreading and killing dogs in the southeast

first_imgLook for foam or scum on the water and blue, red, vibrant green or brown colors on top of the water that can resemble spilled paint. Toxic algae can also smell very bad, though animals may be attracted to the odor. North Anna Branch (CONTAINS CHANGES FROM PRIOR ADVISORY; “UPPER” ADDED AND “LOWER” REMOVED) The Virginia Department of Health posted swimming advisories for the following areas of the lake along with safety tips. SEE MAP. Upper – From the upper inundated waters of the Pamunkey arm of the lake downstream to the confluence with Terry’s RunMiddle – From the confluence of Terry’s Run with Pamunkey Creek downstream to Rt. 612 (Stubbs Bridge)Terrys Run – from the upper inundated waters of the lake downstream to the confluence with Pamunkey Creek Pamunkey Branch (NO CHANGE FROM PRIOR ADVISORY) Recent warm water conditions make favorable conditions for an algae bloom. The toxic algae can bloom in freshwater and saltwater and may be hard to spot. The Department of Health advises the public to avoid contact with the Upper and Middle Pamunkey Branches as well as the Upper and Middle North Anna Branches of Lake Anna. Photo from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife: A blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) bloom at Clear Lake, Lake County, California, resulted in oxygen depletion in the water and the subsequent mortality of multiple aquatic species, including carp, catfish, bluegill and crappie. CDFW photos taken Aug. 1, 2016 by Kirsten Macintyre.https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ Routine monitoring occurs monthly above Route 208 on Lake Anna. Test results indicate samples collected on July 30 at sites within these areas contained potentially harmful algae (cyanobacteria) that exceed safe swimming levels. According to WDBJ the Virginia Department of Health said the same toxic algae has been spotted in the counties of Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania County. Dog owners: beware. A toxic blue-green algae known as cyanobacteria has killed four dogs in North Carolina and Georgia this week. The dogs died after swimming in, and most likely drinking, algae-contaminated water, leading to liver failure.  Toxic algae is killing dogs in the southeast Cyanobacteria can cause skin rash and gastrointestinal illness, such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you have been exposed to contaminated water, wash off with fresh water as soon as possible and monitor symptoms. Upper – From the upper inundated waters of the North Anna arm of the lake downstream to the Rt. 522 Bridge.Middle – From the Rt. 522 Bridge downstream to the Lumsden Flats / Rose Valley cove Symptoms of exposure in dogs include diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, drooling, difficulty breathing or seizures. If your dog experiences any of these symptoms, take the animal directly to the vet.  Avoid contact with any area of the lake where water is green or an advisory sign is posted,Do not allow children or pets to drink from natural bodies of water.Keep children and pets out of the areas experiencing a harmful algae bloom and quickly wash them off with plenty of fresh, clean water after coming into contact with algae scum or bloom water.If you or your animals experience symptoms after swimming in or near an algal bloom, seek medical/veterinarian care.To ensure fish fillets are safe to eat, properly clean fish by removing skin and discarding all internal organs, and cooking fish to the proper temperature.If you suspect you experienced health-related effects following exposure to a bloom, contact the Virginia Harmful Algal Bloom Hotline at 1-888-238-6154.To learn more about harmful algae blooms or to report an algae bloom or fish kill visit www.SwimHealthyVA.com. WHEN IN DOUBT, STAY OUT!last_img read more

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Dominion Energy Riverrock announces Virtual Experience with virtual trail events, streaming content to celebrate 2020 festival

first_img“We know that Dominion Energy Riverrock is one of the most anticipated weekends of the year in Richmond, so it’s important for us to bring the spirit of the festival to our dedicated community with this Virtual Experience,” said Lisa Sims, CEO of Venture Richmond. “We especially would like to thank Dominion Energy for their support to bring this concept to reality so we can all take part in the festival in our own way.” The virtual races will encourage participants to bring the celebratory spirit home to them. Participants can choose 5k, 10k, or Half Marathon trail running distances, or 10-mile or 20-mile mountain bike distances, then select their own course and complete their race any time before May 31. Participants can also upload and compare their times on an online leaderboard. Virtual event registration is now open at www.riverrockrva.com, and the registration fee of $20 includes a Dominion Energy Riverrock trucker hat with an event entry. As part of the celebration, festival organizers are also hosting a drawing for a prize pack featuring items from event partners including YETI, Sierra Nevada, ENO, nuun, Virginia Lottery, and Capital One, among others. No purchase is necessary to win the prize pack and anyone aged 21 and over can enter to win here. The streaming highlights show will feature music from several artists originally scheduled to perform during the 2020 Dominion Energy Riverrock, including the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, The Hot Seats, and The Northerners, as well as interviews with Dominion Energy Riverrock athletes, demos on mountain biking, slacklining, kayak, and bouldering, and plenty of other festival-related content. The livestream will premiere at 5 p.m. on May 16 on the Dominion Energy Riverrock YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/DominionRiverrock/live ) and on Facebook Live (www.facebook.com/riverrockRVA/), and be available for on-demand streaming immediately after. A trailer for the special can be viewed at the Dominion Energy Riverrock Instagram page, @RiverrockRVA. Richmond, Virginia, USA downtown skyline on the James River. Photo by Sean Pavone from Getty Imagescenter_img Dominion Energy Riverrock is planning its first Virtual Experience to bring the sights and sounds of the festival, which was originally scheduled for May 15-17 before its cancellation due to the COVID-19 outbreak and associated restrictions on large events, directly to viewers and participants. The Virtual Experience will include trail running and mountain bike events for participants to take part in virtually on their own before enjoying the streaming festival highlights show on Saturday, May 16, at 5 p.m. “Even though we can’t gather along the James River at our wonderful downtown waterfront, we still want to celebrate Richmond’s vibrant active-living community,” said Megan Schultz, Director of Events for Sports Backers, co-organizers of Dominion Energy Riverrock with Venture Richmond. “We believe that the Virtual Experience will be a great way for Dominion Energy Riverrock enthusiasts to engage with the things that make the festival so unique and exciting.”last_img read more

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Rabid bobcat found in Lexington County, SC

first_img“This is a tremendous victory for all who cherish Yellowstone’s grizzly bears and for those who’ve worked to ensure they’re protected under the Endangered Species Act,” Andrea Zaccardi, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement.  A bobcat is the latest animal to be found infected with rabies in Lexington County, SC, according to South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control. No people are known to have come into contact with the sick animal, but at least four dogs were exposed.  This week, a federal court upheld a lower court decision reversing a Trump administration policy that eliminated protections for grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park, The Hill reports. In 2017, the Fish and Wildlife Service delisted grizzly bears as a threatened species. Wednesday’s court ruling agreed with a previous court ruling that the agency acted against the best science available when it delisted the bears.  The bobcat is the seventh animal in Lexington County to test positive for rabies this year, The State reports. Bobcats live across the entire state of South Carolina but are most commonly found in the Coastal Plain.  A celestial light show is coming to the northern sky this month. Comet NEOWISE, one of the brightest comets to pass earth in decades, is visible in the sky with the naked eye during the month of July. The comet is already visible in the sky around dawn, but beginning around July 12, it should be visible in the evening sky as well, Scientific American reports.  Court saves protection for Yellowstone grizzliescenter_img Rabid bobcat found in Lexington County, SC Astronomers say that if you want to catch a glimpse of the comet, now is the time to do it. When it leaves Earth’s vicinity later in July, it won’t come around again for another 6,800 years.  Photo courtesy of Getty Images Look up! NEOWISE comet visible in the sky this monthlast_img read more

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Bullets for Cocaine

first_img The exchange of drugs for weapons that started in the mid-1990s between the Colombian drug cartels and the Russian mafia is also flourishing. Just like cocaine leaves Colombia, Peru and Bolivia through Venezuela, Ecuador and Brazil toward Europe, the arms travel the same route in the opposite direction. Two prosecutors in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, Adelaida Vázquez and Carolina Gabea, witness this type of trafficking almost daily along the Tri-Border area. Both share the same complaint: lack of resources and the enemy at home. “We have a group of special agents, but they are too few to face so much crime,” explained Vázquez. “It is dangerous to be a lawabiding person and work here, but … if you stay clean, the drug traffickers usually leave you alone.” Action Against Illegal Weapons Trafficking One of Brazil’s major drug traffickers, Luiz Fernando da Costa, aka Fernandinho Beira-Mar, was captured in the Colombian jungle near the Brazilian border. Da Costa traded arms and ammunition transported from Paraguay to the FARC’s 16th Front around Barrancomina in exchange for drugs.\ Veteran Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout was arrested in Thailand. He was allegedly planning to sell 100 Russian Igla surface-to-air missiles to the FARC. The missiles were to have been shipped from Bulgaria to Nicaragua and then parachuted over Colombian rebelheld jungle territory from an aircraft bound for Guyana. Syrian arms dealer Monzer al-Kassar was arrested in Madrid. He offered to supply the FARC 15 Strela 2 surface-to-air missiles, as well as 7,700 Kalashnikov assault rifles. The weapons were allegedly to be shipped from Bulgaria and Romania aboard a vessel from Greece, and the deal sealed with a false Nicaraguan end-user certificate. Al-Kassar was convicted in November 2008 in a U.S. federal court. Colombia created a river battalion to control arms and drug trafficking on its borders with Peru and Ecuador. The battalion, stationed in Puerto Leguízamo, southern Colombia, will have three marine infantry battalions and one river assault battalion. Among other units, it will have nine fast river-patrol boats, 29 river combat elements, armored units to transport troops, light river-patrol boats for support and tug boats. More than 2,400 uniformed personnel will be assigned to the batallion. Supply and demand June 7, 2007 June 23, 2001 Pact to counter illicit small-arms trafficking Colombia and its borders eTrace: Internet-based firearms tracing and analysis Jamal Yousef, aka Talal Hassan Ghantou, a former Syrian military officer, was arrested in Honduras. He tried to sell to the FARC around18 surface-to-air missiles, 100 AR-15 assault rifles, 100 M16 assault rifles, 10 M60 machine guns, C-4 explosives, 2,500 hand grenades, and rocket-propelled grenades. “Lords of war — Running the arms trafficking industry” por Jane’s Intelligence Review The Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials, or CIFTA, is the first multilateral treaty designed to prevent, combat and eradicate illegal transnational trafficking in the Americas. CIFTA was created by the Organization of American States in 1997 and has been ratified by 30 OAS member states. The treaty requires members to have more effective documentation for exporting and importing, and the generation of identification for the firearms with appropriate markings. It also requires increased exchange of information and law enforcement cooperation. center_img Paraguay and Brazil curb weapons smuggling: The arrests of Syrian Monzer al-Kassar in Spain in 2007 and Russian Viktor Bout in Thailand in 2008 shed light on how easy it is to smuggle weapons into Latin America. In order to detain Bout, the “Merchant of Death,” and al-Kassar, the “Prince of Marbella,” the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration accused both men of attempting to sell portable Russian surface-to-air missile launchers to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. The planned route for both operations was similar: The weapons would leave Romania or Bulgaria to enter Nicaragua and from there, were to be parachuted over Colombian territory. There are more than 80 million illegal weapons in Latin America, according to a 2008 report from the Center for Defense Information in Washington. Even the most inept criminals have access to a firearm. The homicide rate in Latin America — 140,000 per year, according to the World Bank — is more than double the worldwide average. Several countries have alarming homicide rates for every 100,000 inhabitants: Brazil, 28; Colombia, 65; El Salvador, 45; Guatemala, 50; Venezuela, 35. Violence also deals a blow to the economy. The cost of this scourge is estimated at 14.2 percent of the region’s gross domestic product, according to a 2006 World Bank report on crime and violence. Caribbean and Central American countries have implemented eTrace, a Web-based firearm trace request submission system that provides for the electronic exchange of crime gun data in a secure Web-based environment. It was launched in 2004 in the United States as part of a program to modernize law enforcement support tools. Participating law enforcement agencies with access to the Internet can acquire 24 hours a day, seven days a week, real-time information, free of charge. In 2008, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives traced and processed more than 300,000 guns from 58 countries. Global law enforcement smothers the FARC The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, has played a key role in arms trafficking in Latin America during the past decade. It acquires arms as payment for drugs from narcotrafficking. As of July 2009, Colombia’s government — through Interpol — sent 209 official requests to 27 countries to verify the origin of arms seized from the FARC during the past 10 years, according to national newspaper El Tiempo. Major achievements by national and international law enforcement to disrupt the FARC’s arms purchases include: April 21, 2001 Paraguay and Brazil have an agreement to combat weapons trafficking on their shared border. The accord, signed in November 2006 and ratified in October 2009 by Brazil’s Federal Senate, strengthens cooperation between law enforcement to combat firearms, munitions and explosives manufacturing and trafficking. It also calls for information exchange on weapons registration and ownership. While weapons are not scarce in the region, ammunition is. Russian AK-103 rifles acquired by Venezuela are usually the most sought after in the region, especially by the FARC, which still has at least 5,000 of these weapons. By Dialogo January 01, 2010 I like this web page because I can stay informed about what is happening in the World and around me. Drugs are bad for the youth and for me a boy of 15 who is faced with marijuana. March 6, 2008 Peru’s former secret police Chief Vladimiro Montesinos was arrested in Caracas, Venezuela. He was responsible for smuggling AKMS Kalashnikov assault rifles from Jordan to the FARC under the guise of an official Peruvian military purchase of 50,000 arms. In 1999, he delivered 10,000 AKMS rifles in crates parachuted to the FARC near Barrancomina, department of Guainía.\ Illegal arms trafficking is also increasingly associated with drug trafficking. The Peruvian Army confirmed that the remnants of Shining Path guerrillas, who are now dedicated to the production and sale of cocaine, had missile launchers, machine guns and rifles of Russian origin in their possesion. During the span of a year, Shining Path’s rearmament cost 50 Peruvian Soldiers their lives. Some of the main smuggling points in the region are the border between the Andean countries and Brazil; Iquitos, Peru; the Gulf of Urabá, between Colombia and Panama; and the Tri-Border area of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina. Aug. 19, 2009last_img read more

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Head of U.S. Southern Command Visits Uruguay

first_imgBy Dialogo May 10, 2010 The head of the U.S. Southern Command, Gen. Douglas Fraser, completed a visit to Montevideo Thursday in which he met with the Uruguayan defense minister, Luis Rosadilla, the high command of the armed forces, and the Parliament’s Defense Commission. The objective of the visit was “to engage in dialogue about bilateral cooperation between the two countries and issues of mutual interest, as well as also to analyze support for peacekeeping operations and humanitarian aid,” according to a statement by Washington’s embassy in Montevideo. Parliamentary deputy Javier García, a member of the lower house’s Defense Commission, told AFP that discussions touched on “a variety of issues: cooperation between the two countries, the Antarctic (security) issue, and the issue of the arms race in Latin America was raised.” With regard to this last point, García said that Fraser “played down the matter, and characterized it as more in the realm of investment.” At the same time, “he highlighted Uruguay’s participation in UN peacekeeping missions.” Uruguay has deployed a contingent of 1,162 blue helmets as part of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), while also providing 1,300 personnel to the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC). Fraser visited the Uruguayan National Peace Operations School (ENOPU), where military personnel are trained for UN peacekeeping missions. Likewise, he visited a community center for young people in Santa Catalina, on the western fringe of Montevideo, a humanitarian project under construction with donations from the Southern Command, coordinated with the Defense Ministry and local authorities, where a clinic is also operating.last_img read more

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