Toubab Krewe Plants Seeds Of Love At Purple Hatter’s Ball [Videos]

first_img“That Damn Squash” Toubab Krewe brought their blend of world music, rock and roll, and improvisation to the 11th-annual Purple Hatter’s Ball at the Spirit Of The Suwannee Music Park for an uplifting set of amazing jams. One of the most impressive things about Toubab’s set was the fact that one of the players was playing with the band for the first time ever. Thanks to some travel shenanigans that kept bassist Justin Kimmel from making the show, Hive Mind four-stringer Dave McSweeney stepped in and helped keep the low end popping.With a new album, Stylo, out after a lengthy hiatus, Toubab Krewe looks to be ready to take their music to the people with a series of festival appearances and road gigs all summer long. With the New Orleans-based rhythm section of Luke Quaranta on percussion and Terrence “Groove Guardian” Houston on drums, the duo nimbly blended African, South American, and American beat styles into a satisfyingly diverse backdrop for the rest of the band. Guitarist Drew Heller is the epitome of restraint, never overpowering the melody but instead letting his licks be carried along with the sonic tide. Meanwhile, Asheville, NC’s pride, Justin Perkins, demonstrated his amazing prowess with both the kora and the kamel ngoni as his plucked tones rang out with clarity and joy.This, and all the other music made over the course of the weekend, honored the fallen and elevated those left behind. Purple Hatter’s Ball memorializes a fallen friend of the scene, Rachel Morningstar Hoffman, who was taken from the world far too soon due to a tragic series of events precipitated by antiquated drug and informant laws. Festival promoter Paul Levine founded Purple Hatter’s Ball and the charity that bears her name to gather those who loved her and use the energy created to help change the world for the better. Check out the Rachel Morningstar Hoffman Foundation here, then check out the unique and heartfelt tunes below to see the love that is Rachel’s legacy.“D’Jarbi” “Stylo”“Hang Tan”last_img read more

Power Play – Innovation at Harvard

first_imgBringing electricity to remote areas in developing countries is a challenge Harvard graduates Jessica Matthews AB ’10 and Julia Silverman AB ’10 are tackling head on. As students, they developed sOccket, a soccer–ball–shaped device that harnesses the kinetic energy generated as users kick, dribble, or throw it around. Once the energy is stored, small electrical devices such as LED lights can be plugged into sOccket. Matthews and Silverman are now working with organizations serving resource-poor communities to distribute the ball on a larger scale.last_img read more

Meet Hamilton Founding Father Daveed Diggs!

first_img Star Files View Comments Related Shows Age: 33Hometown: Oakland, CACurrent Roles: A dynamic Broadway debut as French general Lafayette, “the Lancelot of the Revolutionary set,” and future U.S. president Thomas (“What’d I miss?”) Jefferson in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s epic musical Hamilton.Stage Cred: After earning a theater degree from Brown University, Diggs acted in plays on the West Coast and began writing and performing with the hip-hop group Clipping. He joined Miranda’s sketch troupe Freestyle Love Supreme before being tapped for Hamilton.“As a kid, I was very shy. I liked being on stage because it gave me a reason to be around people. The other great thing about acting is it allows you to imagine circumstances different from your own. I was a poor Bay Area kid getting to pretend to be a Russian aristocrat.”“I went to Hebrew school, but opted out of a bar mitzvah. My mom is a white Jewish lady and my dad is black. The cultures never seemed separate—I had a lot of mixed friends. When I was young, I identified with being Jewish, but I embraced my dad’s side too.”“Everybody without money should apply to the Ivy League. The secret they don’t tell poor kids is ‘need-blind admissions.’ Brown recruited me for track, and it ended up being thousands of dollars cheaper than a state school.”“Hamilton is authentic. If another writer tried to put rapping into characters for whom rap music didn’t exist, it would feel forced, but that’s how Lin speaks. He quotes rap, R&B and Broadway musicals in conversation! It feels natural to perform because it’s real.”“Our first preview was surprisingly emotional. I had decided early on that Broadway would not have a space for me, so I was taken aback by how intense it felt. I’ve toured the world and played big houses, but never one with so much history.”“The past six months have been a whirlwind. I just moved to Washington Heights with my girlfriend, and some crazy celebrity comes [to the show] every week. I keep expecting to reach a point of normalcy, but it hasn’t happened yet!” from $149.00center_img Hamilton Daveed Diggs photographed by Caitlin McNaney, with chalk art by Melissa Riordan at Bar Nine in NYC Daveed Diggslast_img read more

State Treasury to Invest in Vermont Banks

first_imgThe Vermont State Treasurers Office has unveiled an initiative to invest a significant portion of Vermonts short-term cash in Vermont Banks. Currently, such funds are invested primarily in government agency securities, high quality corporate commercial paper, and money market accounts at large financial institutions. The new Treasurers Bank in Vermont Program is consistent with an ongoing effort by State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding to support Vermont-based financial institutions when acceptable rates of return can be achieved.According to Treasurer Spaulding, We are inviting banks to participate in a certificate of deposit (CD) program designed to support community banking, while earning a competitive return on State funds. We will invest on a predictable basis, via a competitive bidding process, in banks with branches in Vermont. The program is designed to be attractive to a wide range of banking institutions and is predicated on the belief that investing Vermont funds in Vermont, consistent with earning a competitive rate of return, is a good policy.Banks will be pre-approved by the Office of the State Treasurer for maximum levels of investment based on a bank’s size and other factors. In addition, participating banks must have at least a satisfactory rating under the federal Community Reinvestment Act of 1977. State funds will be available for bid in various maturities, based on State cash flow projections and projected interest rates. Participating banks will submit bids through the Internet and/or e-mail. The Office of the State Treasurer will award CDs based on rank order of quoted rates and associated dollar levels until the funds are depleted for each scheduled bidding period.Chris D’Elia, Executive Director of the Vermont Bankers Association, reacted to Spauldings initiative positively. “Vermont’s banking community welcomes the opportunity to work with the Treasurer’s Office on implementing this new program. This effort will keep investment funds within Vermont, thus allowing them to be utilized to encourage new economic activity, he said.Kenneth Perine, President of the National Bank of Middlebury, explained his support of the Bank in Vermont Program by saying, I am pleased to see efforts that recognize Vermonts banking institutions as a viable alternative for State of Vermont investments, and am pleased by Treasurer Spauldings effort to reach out to Vermont bankers in designing this program.Other examples of Treasurer Spauldings commitment to supporting Vermont institutions include investments in the Vermont Community Loan Fund and the Vermont Development Credit Union. In addition, the three investment firms used by the Treasurers Office to manage longer-term funds are all based in Vermont. They are National Life Capital Management, Hanson Investment Management, and Prentiss Smith & Company.last_img read more

Fonda Group closes St Albans plant

first_imgFonda Group closes St Albans plantThe Fonda Group, a manufacturer of decorative paper products, will close its St Albans plant November 1 as part of a consolidation by its parent corporation Solo Cup Company.All 168 jobs in Vermont will be lost, though employees are encouraged to apply for other jobs in the Solo company across the country. The nearest such facility is in North Andover in eastern Massachusetts.Fonda is one of St Albans oldest companies, going back 63 years. Fonda was bought by Solo in February 2003. Its other product lines include Sweetheart and Lily.last_img read more

8 Perfect Weekend Trails

first_imgThru-hiking for months on end is out of reach for most of us. But a weekend backpacking trip? Most of us can carve that time into our schedules. Luckily, the Southern Appalachians are chock full of sub-100 mile trails that offer a thru-hiking experience in just a few days.Wild Oak Trail, VA This 25-mile National Recreation Trail forms a perfect weekend loop moving from easily accessible front country to some very remote corners of the George Washington National Forest. The loop begins along the headwaters of the North River, but quickly climbs to the ridges and stays there, which means water is scarce.“A lot of the trail follows ridgelines that provide some very panoramic vistas,” says Dennis Herr, who organizes fun ultra runs on the Wild Oak Trail.Total Mileage: 25.6Highlights: Ridgeline views, solitude, mountain laurel and oak speciesMore Info: Wilderness AdventuresDay OneBegin your 7-mile day at the parking area near North River Gap (the low point along the trail) and start your counter-clockwise hike by climbing Grindstone Mountain and Chestnut Ridge. Prepare for the views along the ridge leading to Little Bald Knob, the highpoint of the trail at mile 7. Look for small, flat clearings near Little Bald Knob to pitch your tent for the night. Take a walk out the gated FS 427 for excellent views from the ridgeline.Day TwoSave enough water for the  8.5 mile hike, including the three-mile, 2,000-foot drop to the North River. The next climb to Big Bald Knob is steep and rocky, but this perch has arguably the best views along the trail. You’ll hike along the border of the Ramsey’s Draft Wilderness before taking a hard left to descend Dividing Ridge. Look for campsites along the trail before you reach FS 96.Day ThreeAt 10.2 miles, the last day is your longest. Climb up Hankey Mountain to the gated forest road for several miles. Then the trail gets technical again, with the last few miles highlighted by steep, rocky climbs leading to dramatic overlooks before dropping back down to the parking area.Iron Mountain Trail, VA The Iron Mountain Trail can seem a bit disjointed at times: a 19-mile stretch between Cross Mountain and Damascus that ends with a road walk into town, then another 14-mile section near the Little Dry Run Wilderness. But the best section parallels the Appalachian Trail inside the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area running for 23 miles between Damascus and Highway 16.“This is the old route of the A.T. and it’s had a lot of rest,” says Jeff Patrick, who leads hikes all over the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. “The rest of the High Country gets so much use, but Iron Mountain, even though it’s close to town, doesn’t see a fraction of the boots.”Total Mileage: 23Highlights: Rocky terrain, shelters, solitude (everyone’s busy hiking the A.T.)More Info: Mount Rogers OutfittersDay OnePick up the trail just outside of downtown Damascus and begin a rocky climb up to Feathercamp Ridge. Camp at the Sandy Flats Shelter for the night. It’s a short 6.2-mile day, but this will give you time to take an optional side trip down Feathercamp Trail, which drops into a cover offering a series of wading pools and small cascades.Day TwoContinue heading east on the Iron Mountain as it crosses a forest road and rolls and dips over small knobs along the Iron Mountain ridgeline.  Eventually, you’ll start passing some older growth trees and pass the Straight Branch Trail shelter, 4.5 miles into your day. Keep on trekking another four miles to the Cherry Tree shelter. There’s some road walking as you skirt the edge of Round Top and Double Top.Day ThreeThe Iron Mountain Trail, which shares the path with the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail for less than two miles. You’ll cross paths with the A.T., then drop and rise in and out of seasonal creek gorges. Between the A.T. and the intersection of 4022, locals know of a pasture with incredible views called Comers Meadow. It’s off trail, but if you’re looking for adventure, it’s worth seeking out. The big finale of this portion of the Iron Mountain is Comers Falls. Take the Comers Creek Trail 0.2 miles to a series of drops and pools inside a tight, rocky gorge.The North Fork Mountain Trail offers stunning views of the Shenandoah Valley. Photo by Michael McCumber.North Fork Mountain Trail, WVThe North Fork Mountain Trail is a 24-mile long ridgeline trail running along the entire crest of the North Fork Mountain near the Virginia-West Virginia border.  Along the way you’ll get incredibly dramatic views of Shenandoah Mountain, Seneca Rocks, two forks of the Potomac, and Dolly Sods. The mountain has long been highlighted by the Nature Conservancy for its surprising biodiversity. The rocky crest supports ancient, twisted oaks, white pines, beds of ferns, even virgin red spruce. The trail is the centerpiece of a recent effort to create a federally designated Wilderness area.Total Mileage: 24Highlights: Views, rocky outcroppings, more views, virginMore Info: Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides Day OneStart at the southern terminus and roll along the ridgeline, where you’ll get your first big view of Germany Valley and Spruce Knob to the west. Eventually you’ll reach High Knob, which has campsites and a view of Seneca Rocks. If you’re fit, push forward and turn this into a two-day, one-night trip, where you stash a car with water and food at FS 79, halfway into the trail. There are campsites within a short walk of either side of the road.Day TwoContinue hiking north and enjoy the views of Dolly Sods and the South Branch of the Potomac. The trail arrives at Chimney Top Rocks, a massive sandstone cliff band with arguably the best views along the trail. Shortly after the cliffs, you’ve got an 1,800 foot descent over 2.5 miles to Route 28, near Smoke Hole Caverns.The Laurel Highlands Trail meanders through some of Pennsylvania’s most scenic river valleys. Photo by Michelle Adams.Laurel Highlands Trail, PAThe 70-mile Laurel Highlands Hiking trail serves as the backbone of a 218-square-mile forested area that ’s called the Laurel Highlands.  The area has 600 miles of hiking trail. The Laurel Highlands Trail runs from Ohiopyle State Park and the Youghiogheny River to the Conemaugh River, connecting a variety of maintained forests along the way.“You hike from park to park, running along the ridge, occasionally dropping into stream valleys, and popping back up for great views from cliffs,” says Bruce Sundquist, who wrote a guide to the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail for the Sierra Club.The trail is blazed at regular intervals, has concrete mile markers, and offers shelter systems with reliable water, making this the most beginner-friendly long trail in the region. Note: the hiker’s bridge over Interstate 76 has been removed and an 8-mile road walk detour is in place.Total Mileage: 70+Highlights: Shelter system, cliffs, expansive views and roaring riversMore Info: Wilderness Voyageurs Day OneStart at Ohiopyle State Park and hike along the river before climbing to the top of the ridge for views of a bend in the mighty Yough below. You’ll drop off the ridge into a stream valley, cross a forest road and arrive at the first trail shelter after six miles.Day Two Start your day with a two-mile climb to a level ridge at 2,500 feet. You’ll skirt a pond below Cranberry Glade Lake before mile 14, then pick up your next shelter at mile 18.5.Day ThreeKeep rolling along the ridge at 2,700 feet through a state park, then drop off Grindle Ridge, cross a few creeks, and arrive at next shelter at mile 24.Day FourEnjoy the scenery near Seven Springs Resort, as well as some brief lake-side hiking. After the eight-mile detour, continue hiking north to the highlight of the trip, Beam Rocks, offering sweeping views to the east. Your shelter for the night sits at mile marker 46.5.Day FiveThis 11-mile day rolls through Laurel Ridge State Park where you’ll spend the night at a shelter at mile 57.Day SixYou’ve got 13 miles to the northern terminus through some of the most scenic terrain along the trail, especially as you skirt the rim of the Conemaugh Gorge. Views of the river below are almost continuous for the last few miles of this thru-hike.John Muir Trail, TNThe 20-mile John Muir National Recreation Trail in Eastern Tennessee (lovingly referred to as “the other JMT”) follows a tiny piece of the 1,000-mile journey that John Muir took from Kentucky to Florida in 1867. The trail predominantly follows the Hiwassee River, except when it rises via switchbacks to ridgelines and cliff bands to offer gorgeous views of the broad, green canyon.“Trillium, jack in the pulpit, bloodroot, and other wildflowers line the trail in April and May,” says Harold Webb, a native to the area who owns the Webb Brothers General Store.Total Mileage: 19 (not including a side trip)Highlights: wild flowers, swimming holes, gorge viewsMore Info: The Webb Brothers General StoreDay OneBegin at the Childers Creek Parking area and start hiking upstream. The first three miles are flat and easy, passing through wildflower meadows. You’ll do a little road walking but also get up onto some high bluffs with great views of the river and its green gorge. The gorge gets thin at “the Narrows” and the trail rises to a serious cliff line high above water level. Find primitive campsites along Coker Creek.Day TwoYou have seven miles from Coker Creek to TN 68, most of which is hiked along the Hiwassee River. Optional Side trip: Before you break camp, hike 2.5 miles up the Coker Creek Falls Trail to the falls of the same name, which is a series of ledges and pools (the biggest drop is 40 feet).Before the hike is over, you’ll leave the river to climb a ridge to an overlook 600 feet above the riverbed that offers a view of the Hiwassee Gorge and beyond.  The trail continues for a mile past TN 68, but it’s typically overgrown and strenuous.A hiker pauses at an outcropping along the Tanawha Trail near Grandfather Mountain, N.C. Photo by Todd Bush.Tanawha Trail, N.C.13.5 miles may not sound like a long trail, but the technical terrain and panoramic side trips make the Tanawha a mini-epic adventure.  The Tanawha (Cherokee for eagle) parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway along the edge of Grandfather Mountain, running from Beacon Heights to Julian Price Park.“You’re either walking through rolling meadows or extremely rocky boulder fields,” says Jason Berry, a hiker who chooses the Tanawha for short overnight excursions.Sections of the Tanawha are so biologically diverse that massive boardwalks were helicoptered into place to keep our feet off of precious plants. Accessing the trail is easy, thanks to the Parkway. The tread is schizophrenic, oscilating between smooth singletrack to rocky steps to boulder hopping.Total Mileage: 13.5 (not including sidetrips)Highlights: Boulders, stargazing, boardwalks, and big viewsMore Info: Footsloggers in Boone and Blowing RockDay OneStart this 9-mile day at Beacon Heights and head north. Pass under the Lynn Cove Viaduct (an engineering marvel that attracts visitors all on its own), and gets even more technical as you make your way up to Rough Ridge, an expansive rock outcropping with beautiful views. Along the ridge, you’ll climb rock stairs, squeeze through chutes, and climb boulders. ”It’s like a jungle gym for big people,” Berry says.After the ridge, the terrain mellows. Stop at the Hi-Balsam Shelter near Flat Rock, an amazing stargazing site.Day TwoYou’re roughly six miles from the northern end of the Tanawha. Optional Side Trip: The Cragway Trail offers views of the Boone Fork Bowl. After a mile, hang a left on the Nuwati for a short hike to Storyteller’s Rock for an even better view of a valley. Take the Nuwati downslope to its junction with the Tanawha in 1.2 miles, then continue your journey north.The terrain gets progressively easier as you near the terminus at Julian Price Lake, with meadows blanketed in spring wildflowers.Fires Creek Rim Trail, N.C.Backpackers come to this 25-mile loop for one thing: solitude. The Rim Trail hugs the ridgeline around the 21,000-acre Fires Creek Wildlife Management Area, in a remote corner of the Nantahala National Forest. Blowdowns and briars also cover this rugged, remote trail, and water is scarce, so be prepared to work for your solitude.Total Mileage: 25Highlights: Solitude, rugged terrain, high elevation balds, expansive viewsMore Info: Appalachian Outfitters: 828-837-4165.Day OneStart at the trailhead at the Fires Creek Picnic Area soaking in the 25-foot Leatherwood Falls before heading northwest on the Rim Trail. Travel 8 miles on your 3,000-foot climb to Big Stamp. The Phillips Ridge Trail junction is one of the few reliable sources of water, so stock up for the journey ahead.Day TwoPack up camp and continue your trek along the Rim toward Tusquitee Bald, 7.3 miles away. You’ll cross Weatherman Bald, which sits just under 5,000 feet and offers partial views of the surrounding peaks, and the headwaters of Fires Creek. When you reach the edge of Tusquitee Bald, scramble up the Chunky Gal Trail a short distance to the grassy, 5,200-foot summit.Day ThreeThe last nine miles are a predominantly downhill hike as you make your way back to the Fires Creek Picnic Area. Along the way, you’ll pass Potrock Bald, which many backpackers say is the best view along the trail.Side trips along the Tanawha Trail lead to swimming holes and cascades. Photo by Todd Bush.Art Loeb Trail, N.C. This 30-mile-long footpath traverses balds, rocky knobs, Wilderness areas, and the Blue Ridge Parkway.“If you take the A.T. and mash it up into 32 miles, you get the Art Loeb,” says Marcus Webb, a Brevard-based hiker and climber.With rhodo tunnels, waterfall sidetrips, 360-degree views, and ridgeline traverses, the Art Loeb is a highlight reel of the Southern Appalachians. There are even a few shelters stashed along its route.Total Miles: 30Highlights: Bald knobs, expansive views, shelters, side tripsMore Info: Pura Vida Adventures Day OneFrom Daniel Boone Camp, tackle the beastly 2,000-foot climb to Deep Gap in under four miles. Optional side trip: a three-mile out and back to the summit of 6,030-foot Cold Mountain. From Deep Gap, head south through the heart of Shining Rock Wilderness, traversing the Narrows, a mile-long ridgeline crest. Eventually you’ll pass Shining Rock, a massive collection of quartz rock. In 8.2 miles, reach Ivester Gap and set up camp for the night.Day TwoFrom Ivestor Gap, keep heading south on the Loeb, crossing 6,000-foot  Tennent Mountain and Black Balsam Knob, a rocky dome with 360-degree views. Cross over the Parkway and hike Shuck Ridge. You’ll reach another Deep Gap at 7.6 miles. Set up camp, or pick a spot in the shelter for the night.Day ThreeAfter leaving Deep Gap, you’ll summit Pilot Mountain, with great views of Looking Glass Rock. Butter Gap Shelter is only 6.1 miles down trail. If you’re looking for another side trip, check out Butter Gap Trail, which offers a dramatic waterfall just 1.5-miles from the Loeb.Day FourIt’s 8.2 miles to the southern terminus at Davidson River Campground. Skirt Cedar Rock Mountain shortly after leaving the shelter, and at Cat Gap, consider a side trip to John Rock, a granite cliff that drops 200 feet. After the gap, it’s a steady drop and smooth sailing into the campground.last_img read more

In Its Third Year, the FUSINA Reaffirms its Commitment to Security

first_imgBy Iris Amador/Diálogo March 28, 2017 On the third anniversary of its creation in January 2014, the National Interagency Security Force of Honduras (FUSINA, per its Spanish acronym), conducted simultaneous operations throughout the country. This mission was part of Operation Morazán, an ongoing effort to fight and dismantle the criminal gangs that operate in the nation. The operations on January 27th commenced at 6:00 AM throughout the country. FUSINA agents raided 24 targets in the capital city of Tegucigalpa alone. They arrested several suspects and seized drugs, ammunition, and cash linked to drug dealing. “This operation was the result of several months of investigation and planning,” First Lieutenant Mario Rivera, a military police spokesman, told Diálogo. “We had been investigating all of those locations well in advance of that day’s operations.” “We arrested people who already had outstanding arrest warrants, and we also seized firearms, marijuana, and money from drug deals,” said 1st Lt. Rivera. “In 24 hours, we arrested 65 people, 45 of whom had outstanding arrest warrants. We seized 45 firearms, ammunition, three vehicles, six motorcycles, [and approximately] $100, 000,” he detailed. This interagency force keeps many of the areas where these operations were conducted under continuous surveillance. “FUSINA has permanent agents in 170 high-crime districts and neighborhoods in the departments of Francisco Morazán, Comayagua, Lempira, Cortés, and Atlántida,” 1st Lt. Rivera explained. Positive results Participating in the mission were the Military Police for Public Order, the National Anti-Extortion Task Force, the National Anti-Drug Trafficking Bureau, the National Investigation and Intelligence Bureau, and the Office of the Attorney General. Three years of coordinated work involving all of these agencies have yielded positive results. “The number of arrests has increased and the homicide rate has dropped,” Lieutenant Colonel Santos Nolasco, spokesman for FUSINA, told Diálogo. In 2014, FUSINA made nearly 13,000 arrests for various crimes. The following year, it arrested 10,640 people, and in 2016, arrests topped 12,000. As of mid-February, around 37,500 people had been arrested. Considered one of the most violent countries in the world in 2012, with a violent death rate of 86 per 100,000 people, Honduras ended 2016 with a homicide rate of 59 per 100,000. “We still have more work to do to keep lowering that figure, but we’re not going to let down our guard,” Lt. Col. Nolasco said. To date, FUSINA has extradited more than 13 people on drug-related charges. It has seized more than 15,000 kilos of cocaine, almost 700 kilos of cocaine base paste, and more than 59,540 kilos of marijuana. It has also destroyed 10 drug labs and approximately 144 clandestine airstrips. “We’ve seized fewer kilos of cocaine than in previous years, but this means that the work we’re doing — our security measures — have been more effective in keeping drugs from entering our country,” Lt. Col. Nolasco explained. FUSINA also seized 8,837 firearms and 85,853 rounds of ammunition of different calibers. It also recovered nearly 2,000 stolen vehicles, seized approximately $17 million, and dismantled 363 criminal gangs. Goal: Reduce extortion “Without neglecting other fronts in the fight against organized crime, this year we want to focus our efforts on reducing extortion, which is currently the scourge the people feel the most,” Lt. Col. Nolasco said. In Honduras, owners of small businesses like auto repair shops, small grocery stores, as well as transportation workers are targets for criminal groups who demand large sums of money each week or month for permission to continue working. Refusing to pay or not meeting their demands can cost them their lives. Norma Moreno, spokesperson for the National Anti-Extortion Task Force (FNA, per its Spanish acronym), told Diálogo that progress has been made. “Since the FNA began to operate in 2013, it has spared extortion victims from paying more than $8 million. In 2017 alone, the FNA has already prevented $304,000 in payments.” More and more people are going to the FNA when someone tries to extort them. “We feel that people have more trust in the anti-extortion force because they are seeing results. We will see even better results once the changes to the penal code go into effect because it will be easier to arrest people who try to extort others,” Moreno said. Social component Lt. Col. Nolasco said that punitive measures are only part of the solution. “Our work is complemented by social projects. Lighting is being installed on dark streets, roads are being built, and soccer fields are being opened. Parks have been built to give children safe places to play. We believe our communities will be transformed at every level as a result.” Officials are calling on citizens to cooperate with the authorities if they notice suspicious activities in their surroundings or if they themselves receive threats. “We have gradually begun seeing a more proactive response in terms of reporting crimes to the police and coming forward with information,” Lt. Col. Nolasco added. “The situation in this country is complex. We are relentless in our work to protect the population from both ordinary and organized crime. We have a plan and it is definitely being carried out.”last_img read more

Taking the plunge

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Coronavirus vaccine should be mandatory in Australia: PM

first_imgThe country already has “no jab, no play” rules that mean kids have to receive vaccines for diseases including polio and tetanus to enroll in kindergarten or school.But debate still rages about whether those rules impinge on personal freedoms, and hardline anti-vaxers flood online forums with conspiracy theories and misinformation about the risks.The coronavirus pandemic — which has killed more than 400 Australians — has coincided with a sharp uptick in online misinformation, speculation and opposition to vaccines — something experts have dubbed an “infodemic”. No effective vaccine for coronavirus has yet been released, although Morrison said he was optimistic one could be developed by early next year, with manufacturing taking just a few months more.”As soon as we get the recipe we’ll be making it,” he said. Anticipating a backlash from vocal anti-vaccine activists, Morrison said the stakes were too high to allow the disease to continue unchecked.”We’re talking about a pandemic that has destroyed the global economy and taken the lives of hundreds of thousands all around the world,” he said, while stressing the government has not yet made a decision.The Australian government estimates that up to 95 percent of the population would need to be immune to the virus for it to be eradicated.”We need the most extensive and comprehensive response to this to get Australia back to normal,” Morrison said, after announcing the vaccine would be free to all Australians. Australia should make any coronavirus vaccine compulsory for its 25 million citizens bar medical exemptions, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Wednesday, wading into a heated ethical debate.After reaching a deal for the country to manufacture a “promising” vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, Morrison said getting the jab should be “as mandatory as you can possibly make it”.”There are always exemptions for any vaccine on medical grounds, but that should be the only basis,” he told radio station 3AW in Melbourne.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Hamilton restaurateurs sell renovated Nundah house

first_imgThis house at 5 Flower St, Nundah is for sale now with offers over $990,000 invited.IN THREE years, Rachel and Cosimo Carvignese bought, lived in, rented and renovated 5 Flower St, Nundah. Now they are hoping to squeeze in a sale as well. MORE REAL ESTATE STORIES Place Ascot have listed the house for sale and it’s open for inspection this weekend.The driveway has been concreted and plantation shutters added throughout.“That has made a big difference to the appearance of the house,” Mrs Carvignese said.“We installed outdoor awnings in the garden room and enclosed it in Crimsafe.“So we did quite a bit even though we didn’t have to, we just wanted to bring it up to our standard.”The layout has living areas on the ground level and the five bedrooms on the first floor with a covered deck.A lift on the deck services both levels.“That was there when we bought it and it really opens the property up to people who don’t want to use the stairs.” The couple, who own Belvedere Bar and Grill in Hamilton, are currently living in Northgate but have loved the parkland and leafy streets around their Nundah property.“You don’t feel like you’re in a concrete jungle,” she said.“And there are lots of properties here that are old Queenslanders being raised and redeveloped.”More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus13 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market13 hours agoBuilt in 2004, 5 Flower St, has been renovated to include ducted airconditioning and new ceiling fans.The bathrooms have been remodelled with new shower screens and vanities.Kitchen cupboards have new doors and there is a filtered water tap. A full renovation has opened the house.“We were going to stay there, but my husband does love buying property and renovating and moving on, but usually not in such a short space of time,” Mrs Carvignese said. >>>FOLLOW THE COURIER-MAIL<<<last_img read more