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

Ancient Greek Warrior X-Rayed on Long Island

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Researchers rendered this drawing of what the ancient Greek warrior looked like based on his skull.It’s not everyday that an x-ray is done on the remains of a Greek warrior from 4th century BC, but Long Island doctors did just that in an attempt to learn more about how he survived a debilitating war wound.Anagnostis Agelarakis, a professor and chair of Anthropology at Adelphi University, brought the remains, which are on loan from the Greek Archaeological Service, to North Shore Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park the week before Memorial Day.“This is more rare than finding a diamond,” Agelarakis said of the discovery.  Experts estimate the warrior was wounded in the time of Philip the Second, father of Alexander the Great.Greek field surgeons could not remove a bronze arrowhead from the warrior’s left ulna, a bone in the forearm, according Dr. Helise Coopersmith, a radiologist from Noth Shore- LIJ, because it would have caused more damage deep to the surface of the wound.“The X-ray proved the barbed component of the arrowhead that could not have been seen with the naked eye,” Coopersmith noted.According to Agelarakis, the remains were discovered during an archaeological excavation.  He said that the grave was found in the mid 1980s and the remains will be returned to the Archaeology Museum of Kavala in Greece.He plans to later publish his findings.The professor’s wife, Argie Agelarakis, who’s also an Adelphi faculty member, joined with second-year Adelphi student Kimberly Lombardi to create a facial reconstruction of the ancient warrior.The warrior lived with the embedded arrowhead until the age of 58 to 62 years causing him pain similar to severe carpal tunnel.  Argie Agelarakis said that he survived the injury with the care he was given and by keeping the wound clean.last_img read more

Menstrual cycle ‘affects asthma’

first_img Share Tweet Share 12 Views   no discussions Sharecenter_img HealthLifestyle Menstrual cycle ‘affects asthma’ by: – November 10, 2012 Sharing is caring! Period pain is not the only symptom linked to a woman’s menstrual cycle, the study suggestsA woman’s menstrual cycle affects the severity of respiratory symptoms, potentially worsening conditions such as asthma, a study suggests.Norwegian researchers studied almost 4,000 women, and found worse symptoms around ovulation.Writing in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, they said it may be possible to adapt women’s medication.Asthma UK said it could help women with asthma manage their condition better.All the women studied had regular menstrual cycles lasting 28 days or less, and none were taking hormonal contraceptives.Of those studied, 28.5% were smokers and 8% had been diagnosed with asthma.Wheezing symptoms were worse between days 10 to 22 of cycles, with a slight dip near the point of ovulation for most.Shortness of breath was worse on days seven to 21, again with a slight fall around ovulation.The study found it was not just women diagnosed with asthma who experienced these symptoms and variations.Coughing was worse following ovulation for those with asthma, those who were overweight and smokers.‘Pronounced’ variationsWhen an individual woman has her period is determined by complex hormonal processes over the course of her cycle.Throughout, levels of different hormones rise and fall – and body temperature rises around ovulation.The researchers suggest that these fluctuations may have direct effects on airways. and indirect effects on inflammatory responses to infection.Writing in the journal, the researchers led by Dr Ferenc Macsali, of the Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, Norway, said: “We found that respiratory symptoms varied significantly during the menstrual cycle.“There were large changes in symptom incidence through the cycle for all symptoms.”They also found “pronounced” symptom variations during the menstrual cycle in women with asthma, and say the findings suggest women might need tailored medication regimes.“Adjustment of asthma medication to the menstrual cycle may potentially improve the efficacy of asthma treatment and reduce disability and health costs related to asthma in women.”TriggersDr Macsali added: “Our results point to the potential for individualising therapy for respiratory diseases according to individual symptom patterns.“Adjusting asthma medication, for example, according to a woman’s menstrual cycle might improve its efficacy and help reduce disability and the costs of care.”Dr Samantha Walker, of Asthma UK, said: “This research is really interesting, and could help women with asthma to manage their condition better. “Asthma can be triggered by many different things, and this varies from person to person – but we always encourage people with asthma to be aware of things that trigger their symptoms so that they can take steps to control them. “If women with asthma notice that their symptoms are worsening at key times of the month then they can take preventive measures such as having inhalers that are within date, working and contain enough doses of medicine to see them through the times when they are most affected.”BBC Newslast_img read more

Potent offense harkens back to 2005 unit

first_imgUSC had what many pundits consider the best offense in the history of college football in 2005. There were two Heisman Trophy winners in the backfield and a pair of dynamic wide receivers. Two tailbacks ran for more than 1,300 yards apiece. The offensive line was experienced and the offensive attack was as balanced as it was prolific. That team averaged nearly 50 points per game. Even the week before the 2006 BCS national title game, ESPN ran a weeklong series comparing the Trojans’ offensive unit to some of the best in the history of the sport.Man in charge · Senior quarterback Matt Barkley returns to lead an offense that averaged 35.8 points per game in 2011. Barkley threw a conference record 39 touchdowns and completed 69.1 percent of his passes. – Carlo Acenas | Daily TrojanFast forward to 2012, and the expectation for many around Los Angeles is this: USC might have as good an offense, if not better, than what fans saw seven seasons ago.Leading the USC offense will be its aerial assault, and the leader of that charge will be senior quarterback Matt Barkley. Last year, Barkley had one of the best seasons in conference history, throwing for 3,528 yards and 39 touchdown passes against seven interceptions. He set a school single season record for completion percentage at 69.1 percent.Though Barkley’s success is largely because of his own ability, the overall success of the passing game will depend on his receivers: junior Robert Woods and sophomore Marqise Lee. While Lee is at full strength, Woods has a lingering ankle injury that has limited his practice time and forced him to sit out for all of spring practice.Woods set a conference record for catches in 2011 with 111, totaling 1,292 yards and 15 touchdowns, being named a first team All-American in the process. Woods’ high school teammate Lee had 1,143 yards and 11 touchdowns during his freshman season.But if Woods is not healthy, the situation behind the two Biletnikoff Award candidates is rather murky. With no established third receiver, several young players will be competing for playing time, including sophomore George Farmer and incoming freshman Nelson Agholor.“He’s constantly banged up,” Woods said of Farmer, who was the top receiver recruit in the country coming out of high school.If healthy, though, Woods believes Farmer can play a key role for the Trojans.The other question mark for the passing game is the left tackle position. Gone is All-American Matt Kalil, who was the No. 4 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Taking his place will be sophomore Aundrey Walker, standing at 6-foot-6 and weighing 300 pounds who is slated to start at left tackle and to protect Barkley’s blind side. He has lost roughly 70 pounds since last season and is preparing himself for the rigors of the left side and of replacing a star.“Everything’s been good,” Walker said. “Practice, the last practice has been great. Just losing the weight, I feel great. I don’t know what it is, but when I was 360 [pounds], it really didn’t work; I was too slow off the ball.”This is no longer a problem, though, and Walker is excited for the possibilities. He is confident that the offense is right on track and sees a lot of potential with the group.“[The] offense is doing pretty good. We got a great group of guys [starting],” Walker said. “[There is] a lot of chemistry throughout the whole team.”The passing game was an obvious strength last season, as the Trojans averaged more than 294 yards per game, good for 15th in the country.For the 2012 Trojans to reach the heights of the 2005 team, however, the running game will have to hold up its end of the deal and must complement the passing game.Last season, the Trojans ran for 162.6 yards per game, which ranked near the middle of the pack in the college football world. Returning is senior tailback Curtis McNeal, who ran for 1,005 yards. Joining him is Penn State transfer Silas Redd.McNeal said he expects this offensive unit to put up some big numbers this season.“It could be really good,” McNeal said. “We just got to go out there everyday and get our game plan that the coaches make for us, and we just got to make plays.”He knows that the running back competition is going to make for a better unit overall.“It’s been good,” McNeal said. “All the running backs, we’re just out here competing, making each other better … and just providing the best running game that we can for the team.”McNeal believes that the work the team put in during the offseason is going to make this edition of the Trojans better than the one fans saw last year, perhaps making the comparisons to the Leinart-led Trojans not too far off.“A lot of players have just stepped up, basically the whole team just stepped up and we worked our butts off in the offseason so we can perform at our peak every game,” McNeal said. “That’s the attitude that we have, and we’re pushing it everyday.”last_img read more

Trojans lacking team identity

first_imgWith about eight minutes left in the USC-Arizona State game, I had my entire column planned out. USC was driving, chewing up the clock with a powerful running attack against a worn-out Arizona State defense. Maybe USC head coach Steve Sarkisian’s maddening offensive calls for three quarters had a purpose, to wear down a team. It worked against OSU and was working at that point. I was planning to write about the disparity in national perception between the SEC and Pac-12.Bright spot · Junior wide receiver Nelson Agholor was outstanding in a losing effort on Saturday, picking up 147 all-purpose yards. Agholor returned a punt 53 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter, his first of the season. – Tony Zhou | Daily TrojanOregon loses a close game to an underrated Arizona team and football nation clamors about the “soft” Pac-12. Meanwhile, Texas A&M gets run off the field and Alabama loses a close one, and it is all about the strength of the SEC. The respective disparity between Arizona and Oregon and Ole Miss and Alabama is about equal. Strangely enough, coming into Saturday, Arizona was unranked and Ole Miss was knocking on the door of the top 10. Yet, on the flick of one throw by USC redshirt junior quarterback Cody Kessler throw, that all changed.East Coast bias, upsets and everything else didn’t matter the minute USC ran a bubble screen to junior wide receiver Nelson Agholor that stalled the fourth quarter drive. After that was one of the most embarrassing collapses in recent history.Being a diehard sports fan is a funny thing. There is nothing quite like the feeling of victory. Big plays and even bigger wins elevate you to a level euphoria unreachable by anything else. That’s why we root so hard, why we spend time thinking about a game we have zero control over. We do it because we are in search of that elusive feeling of the purest joy you get from rushing the field against Stanford or pounding a hated rival 50-0.The last five minutes of Saturday’s game was as diametrically opposed to that feeling as humanly possible. Bewilderment. Frustration. Anger. Those words can’t possibly encompass or do justice to the feeling Trojan nation had as ASU wide receiver Jaelen Strong strode in untouched through a sea of red defenders to effectively end any postseason dreams this season.The saddest part about this game is that from the moment ASU quarterback Michael Bercovici and the Sun Devils crossed midfield when it was 27-18, I knew in my gut that USC was going to lose. When redshirt junior tailback Javorius “Buck” Allen broke through for his 53-yard touchdown, I didn’t celebrate. The only thing I was thinking was, “USC scored too early.”That is a testament to the absolute lack of confidence most fans had at that point. Up by 12 with less than three minutes remaining when the opposing team has zero timeouts is as close to insurmountable as you are going to get in football. Yet, there was little doubt that if anyone could blow it, it would be this defensive coaching staff on this day.This game is right up there in the hall of shame with Texas in the national championship, the “what’s your deal” Stanford blowout, and the 62-51 loss to Oregon with Lane and Monte Kiffin at the helm. At least in those games, USC lost because of an opponent’s superhuman performance or great coaching or a phenomenal offense. Tonight, USC lost because of sheer incompetence on the part of the coaching staff.On Saturday, USC basically lost to a backup quarterback and one very talented wide receiver. They played like the second coming of what I imagine Steve Young and Jerry Rice looked like back in the day. Sure, Bercovici and Strong are both talented, but they aren’t that good.I’m no defensive expert, nor do I claim to be. Defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox is supposed to be, and he is certainly paid like one. Yet, USC rushed three or four guys on essentially every play on the last three drives. One might posit that after two touchdown drives, a blitz or even throwing in a fourth down lineman to rush might be a decent idea.A team with the talent of USC shouldn’t have fans legitimately worried when the opposing team gets the ball back with 23 seconds and 72 yards to go.Yet, with nine seconds left almost every fan in the stadium was thinking the same thing: cover Strong. Even so, he somehow remained practically invisible to the defenders on the field. The Hail Mary alone wasn’t that surprising — the last five minutes as a whole were what shocked me.Five games into the Sarkisian era, and I have no idea what the Trojans’ identity is. I don’t think any fan does. The team tries to be efficient on offense, and then shoots itself in the foot with drops, questionable play calls and untimely penalties. Promising drives are stalled in the name of slowing down the game to conserve the defense’s energy. Excitement is nonexistent, save for a few infrequent occasions. Big plays are as rare as they are fleeting. Kessler rumbling in for a score, Agholor breaking across the middle of the field, Allen waltzing into the end zone, and sophomore linebacker Su’a Cravens in the opponent’s backfield is what we got Saturday. That shouldn’t be the case with the athletes USC has at its disposal.On defense, it seems that the coaches are so concerned with stopping one facet of the game that they forget to pay attention to everything else. Against Boston College it was the pass, only to get gashed on the ground. Tonight, the Trojans sold out to stop the run, only to get burned time and time again on play action throws.Generally, I’m as optimistic as it gets when it comes to USC football. Coming into the game, I was still charting ’SC’s path to the playoff. There wasn’t much to be excited about, though, after that game.A weekend when Alabama, Oregon and Oklahoma all lose should foreshadow a week of revelry. Instead it is a week of apathy. If it’s hard to even muster up a smile as Utah lays the wood on UCLA, you know something is wrong. Even so, I’ll be back next week hoping there are some answers in the Tucson desert. Jake Davidson is a sophomore majoring in economics. His column, “Davidson’s Direction,” runs Mondays. To comment on this story, email Jake at jrdavids@usc.edu or visit dailytrojan.com.last_img read more