Category: mmhtub

Privacy czar blames RCMP after woman denied entry to US over suicide

first_imgOTTAWA – A Canadian woman was turned back at the U.S. border after information about her suicide attempt was inappropriately shared with American officials through an RCMP-administered database, the federal privacy watchdog says.The incident is just one illustration of how government agencies and private businesses must do a better job of safeguarding personal data in the digital era, privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien said Thursday.Reforms are needed to strengthen the federal privacy law that covers government agencies as well as the companion law for private-sector organizations, said Therrien, who wants new order-making powers and the ability to levy fines, bringing Canada in line with many provincial and international counterparts.“It is not enough for the government to say that privacy is important while taking no systemic measures to protect it,” the commissioner said in his annual report tabled in Parliament.“An overwhelming majority of Canadians are concerned about how the digital revolution is infringing on their right to privacy. They do not feel protected by laws that have no teeth and organizations that are held to no more than non-binding recommendations.”Therrien said he won’t wait for legislative changes, and will begin to improve privacy protections by:— Initiating more investigations on his own, rather than waiting for public complaints, given that his office is often better placed to identify emerging problems;— Specifying four key elements that must be highlighted in privacy notices, which are now often incomprehensible: the information being collected, who it is being shared with, the reasons for collection, use and sharing, and the risk of harm to people;— Spelling out information collection and handling practices that should be prohibited because they’re likely to cause significant harm to people.Therrien’s latest report comes amid almost daily headlines about digital breaches of personal information due to lax practices by companies and government it, the commissioner describes lapses involving the information-sharing provisions of controversial anti-terrorism legislation, a federal web tool intended to stimulate discussion of electoral reform and the dysfunctional Phoenix payroll system.In the attempted suicide case, Therrien’s investigation found the sensitive information was uploaded to the national police database known as CPIC by the Toronto police service, which had responded when the woman called 911.Certain information in CPIC is shared with American law-enforcement agencies under an agreement between the RCMP and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. The privacy commissioner therefore concluded the Mounties are responsible for ensuring this sharing complies with the Privacy Act.The information about the attempted suicide was recorded by Toronto police to help officers should they encounter the woman in future. But U.S. Customs and Border Protection used the information for an entirely different purpose — a violation of Canada’s privacy law, the commissioner found.“We concluded that information about an attempted suicide can only be shared with U.S. border officials where the individual can reasonably be considered to present a risk to others,” the watchdog said.In other investigations, Therrien found:— There were significant record-keeping deficiencies related to the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act, a key element of 2015 omnibus anti-terrorism legislation that expanded information-sharing between key federal agencies.— The Privy Council Office’s website, part of a national dialogue on electoral reform, allowed disclosure of personal information of participants to third parties such as Facebook without their consent. However, there was no evidence PCO was using measures to identify participants or to track responses to the survey questions.— Inadequate testing, coding errors and poor monitoring of the beleaguered Phoenix federal pay system resulted in exposure of personal information of public servants. At least 11 breaches occurred and the information included employee names and salary information.In some cases, the commissioner found, information in the Phoenix system could be changed and transactions could be conducted. In addition, Therrien determined there may be lingering vulnerabilities that could lead to future breaches.When the previous Conservative government adopted Phoenix, the goal was to streamline the pay system — and save taxpayers about $70-million a year. But that plan quickly unravelled as more than 80,000 civil servants reported being underpaid, overpaid or not paid at all.Ottawa has since earmarked around $400 million over two years to address lingering problems related to the program.— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitterlast_img read more

Groups cry foul over exclusion from Atlantic ministers meeting on Aboriginal women

first_imgAPTN National NewsAtlantic minister on the status of women have wrapped up a series of meeting on Aboriginal issues.The meetings were held on Prince Edward Island.APTN National News reporter Taryn Dell found out that a major part of the meeting was missing.last_img

Indigenous fashion designers outraged DSquaw designers awarded Team Canada contract

first_imgShaneen Robinson APTN National NewsIndigenous fashion designers are expressing their outrage after a fashion company that came under fire last year over a racially-charged clothing line has been awarded a big design contract.D-Squared2 initially dubbed their fall/winter line “DSquaw” and now have been awarded a contract by the Hudson’s Bay Company to create athletic wear for Team Canada for upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.The Milan-based label was founded in 1995 by the Caten brothers, who were inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2009.The award-winning duo has past experience designing sportswear, having been enlisted by Italian soccer giant Juventus to create their official team uniforms.The Catens were headline talent costume designers for the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and took part in the torch relay.Dsquared2 has also outfitted its share of A-list stars, most recently Beyonce, who wore a custom creation by the label during her buzzed-about Super Bowl halftime performance.The Dsquared2-designed opening ceremony outfit and the full Team Canada collection is slated to be unveiled in April.-With files from The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Ottawa students take part in night of reconciliation

first_imgAnnette FrancisAPTN National NewsHigh school students in Ottawa joined together with special guests to mark a day of reconciliation Thursday night in Ottawa.Also in attendance, Carolyn Bennett, minister of Indigenous Affairs, and Senator Murray Sinclair.afrancis@aptn.calast_img

New Mexico racing regulators set to rule on 6th racino

first_imgALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico racing regulators are set to decide if they will issue the state’s sixth and final license for a horse racetrack and casino.The New Mexico Racing Commission on Thursday also could name the winning bid for the final license despite objections from New Mexico five existing “racinos.”Under the state’s compacts with casino-operating tribes, only six racinos are allowed in New Mexico. The five existing racinos are in Hobbs, Ruidoso, Farmington, Albuquerque, and Sunland Park.There three other proposals out of Clovis, New Mexico, including one involving “moving grandstand” that will allow an audience to travel alongside running horses.Two other projects are proposed for Tucumcari along this historic Route 66 and Lordsburg near New Mexico’s Bootheel.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Moroccos Growth to Increase by 50 in 2015

Rabat – Morocco’s economy is expected to grow by 5 % in 2015, according to a new study.The British Research Institute Oxford Business Group (OBG), which is a global publishing, research and consultancy firm, that publishes economic intelligence on the markets of the MENA region, Asia and Latin America, released its 2015 report on Morocco.The report highlighted Morocco’s growth potential in 2015. Taking into account its strategic position in Africa which enables it to benefit from strong ties to both Europe and the Arab world. Morocco possesses “the right ingredient for future growth: low inflation, political stability, an industrial base [all within] a favorable climate”   according to the report. With the improving economic situation for Morocco’s trade partners and the continuing fall of oil price – of which the country is a net importer – “most observers expect growth to be even stronger in 2015, with estimates ranging from 4.4% to 5.0%” the report underlined. read more

DGSN Refutes Allegations Relating to Mouhcine Fikris Death

Casablanca – The General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) refutes allegations made in the November 7 statement made by the Dignity Forum of Human Rights on the Mouhcine Fikri case.The Dignity Forum of Human Rights stated on Monday that the officials who confiscated Mohcine Fikri’s merchandise and summoned the garbage truck that ultimately crushed him,“disregarded official criminal procedure, the Royal Decree that regulates fishing, the Highway Code, and the health and safety laws pertaining to food products.”The communiqué also called upon authorities to guarantee transparency and quickly reveal the results of the investigation to the public. In addition, it demanded the establishment of communication channels between the Ministry of Interior and human rights organizations. In reaction to the statement from the Dignity Forum of Human Rights, the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) released a statement on Tuesday “to ward off all ambiguities that may be caused by inaccurate allegations.”The DGSN’s communiqué in response asserts that the Dignity Forum of Human Rights “addressed the mission of the officers in an imprecise way.”“The national security officials in the city of Hoceima,” “stopped the driver of the car, which was loaded with the fish and owned by the defunct, and dealt with him as law-breaker. This required an immediate notification of the specialized public prosecutor with the observations and the procedures undertaken.”The DGSN response added that “the public prosecutor ordered that a written report of the confiscated fish, the truck and the driver be sent to the Regional Delegate for Fishing. The delegate should take legal steps pursuant to the requirements of articles 18 and 23 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and chapters 43, 46, 47 and 48 of the Dahir of Shawal 23, 1393 corresponding to November 23, 1973 related to organizing fishing, which was later signed, amended and supplemented.”The role of the Directorate General of National Security “was limited to the aforementioned procedures, which targeted the driver of the car loaded with fish as he breaking the national legislation.”The communiqué adds that Directorate General of National Security did not call for “destroying the merchandize or beginning the prosecution, because this is the role of other committees.” read more

Facebook reports profit revenue boost stock rises

NEW YORK — Facebook reports earnings and revenue handily surpassed Wall Street expectations for the final quarter of 2018 despite heavy spending on safety and security.The social network has been plagued by privacy scandals and the threat of regulation. That, however, hasn’t stopped it from increasing profits and its user base. It now has 2.32 billion monthly users, up 9 per cent from a year earlier, also inching past analyst expectations.Facebook said Wednesday that it earned $6.9 billion, or $2.38 per share, in the October-December period. That’s up 61 per cent from $4.3 billion, or $1.44 per share, a year earlier. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected $2.18 per share.Revenue increased 30 per cent to $16.9 billion, beating expectations of $16.4 billion.Facebook’s stock is up nearly 7 per cent after-hours as a result.The Associated Press read more

Ivorian stability and security threatened UN experts warn

In its final report, the Côte d’Ivoire Group of Experts warns the Security Council that security threats persist in the West African country because programmes to disarm combatants and dismantle militia remain largely incomplete. The Ouagadougou Agreement – signed in neighbouring Burkina Faso 18 months ago between the Government, which controlled the south, and the rebel Forces Nouvelles, which held the north – called for a number of measures to resolve the crisis that first divided the country in 2002.The measures included creating a new transitional government; organizing free and fair presidential elections; merging the Forces Nouvelles and the national defence and security forces; dismantling the militias and disarming ex-combatants; and replacing the so-called zone of confidence separating north and south with a green line to be monitored by the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI).The report states that since May some 9,895 Force Nouvelles ex-combatants have taken part in the demobilization, disarmament and reintegration (DDR) process, with around half opting for reintegration into civil activities and the other half applying for the new national army.However, during the various stages of cantonment and demobilization only 18 electronic detonators, 18 grenades, 117 small-calibre rounds of ammunition, 83 magazines, 76 unserviceable small-calibre and 10 serviceable small-calibre weapons were collected. The Group also voiced concern that attempts by the Government to restore its authority over all troops and into territories under the administrative control of the Forces Nouvelles have been unsuccessful, as demonstrated by an ineffective presence of the Ivorian customs on the northern border with Burkina Faso. A limited deployment of 13 Ivorian customs officers has been admitted to a key border crossing with Burkina Faso with the agreement of the Forces Nouvelles alongside the same number of their own personnel, who are untrained and unqualified for the job.At the same time the staff of the Forces Nouvelles’ Resource Management Centre, who were previously posted at the border area, remained there and continued to exercise authority. The report noted that the situation was tenuous and that no cooperation existed between the Ivorian customs and the staff of the Resources Management Centre, who prevented the customs officials from performing their duties, including inspection and examination.This means that any undesirable and potentially destabilizing elements to the peace process can enter the territories under the administrative control of the Forces Nouvelles without the knowledge, detection or interdiction of the Ivorian customs, the Group of Experts report stated.“Ivorian customs has been unable to conduct any investigation into smuggling in the areas under the administrative control of the Forces Nouvelles.”“The redeployment exercise is symbolic, without any real hope of success unless tangible progress is demonstrated,” the experts added.The report concluded with recommendations that UNOCI introduce a significant number of international customs officers with sanctions experience to strengthen monitoring efforts, as well as introduce comprehensive procedures for securing military equipment and ensuring the equipment remains in secure custody. 20 October 2008Côte d’Ivoire’s fragile political stability and security situation are at risk as the country struggles to make progress in reaching benchmarks agreed to in the peace pact signed last year, according to a group of United Nations experts in a report made public today. read more

UN health agency sounds alarm on high obesity in Pacific island nations

28 July 2010Pacific Ocean countries face a severe obesity problem, which is also causing increased rates of heart disease and strokes, according to the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO). Pacific Ocean countries face a severe obesity problem, which is also causing increased rates of heart disease and strokes, according to the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO).The agency defines being overweight as having a body mass index (BMI) of equal to or more than 25. It considers a BMI, calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by the square of height in metres, of 30 or more to mean that the person is obese.WHO said today that it has found that in at least 10 Pacific island countries, more than half – and sometimes up to 90 per cent – of the populations are overweight.It also noted that obesity levels range from more than 30 per cent in Fiji to a staggering 80 per cent among women in American Samoa, a United States territory.Diabetes rates among the region’s adults are among the highest in the world, at 47 per cent in American Samoa compared to 13 per cent in the US mainland.One fifth of children and pregnant women are anaemic in a vast majority of Pacific island nations, where deficiencies in micronutrients, including Vitamin A and iodine, are a significant problem.Additionally, 2.4 million people suffer from preventable noncommunicable diseases, such as heart disease, strokes and cancer, which are responsible for 75 per cent of deaths in the Pacific.Temo K. Waqanivalu, WHO technical officer for nutrition and physical activity in Fiji, said that poor diet is partly to blame for the region’s health problems.“Promotion of traditional foods has fallen by the wayside,” he said. “They are unable to complete with the glamour and flashiness of imported foods.”In eight of the region’s countries, less than 20 per cent of people surveyed said that they eat the recommended five or more servings of fruit and vegetables a day.WHO has also pointed to the Pacific’s heavy dependence on imported food as a growing problem, with consumers often choosing imported food because it is easily and readily available for purchase compared to indigenous fish, chicken and other healthier local produce.In April, the region’s nations met in Vanuatu to identify ways to tackle the challenges of malnutrition, obesity and diabetes, the first meeting of its kind in the Pacific.The Pacific is a tropical paradise, said Chen Ken, WHO Representative for the South Pacific, “but we want this to be the reality not just for the tourists who visit us, but also for the people who live here. We want to preserve these islands as healthy islands.”This, he said, will require action to be taken to ensure that high-quality, healthy and affordable food is available for all. read more

Delegates laud UN resolution on role of civil society in conflict prevention

Speaking at the meeting held at the UN Headquarters in New York, General Assembly President Jan Kavan of the Czech Republic said his intention in organizing the meeting was to use the momentum from the success of the Assembly’s resolution to explore interactively the future role of civil society in preventing conflict. He said he also wanted to give Member States an opportunity to concentrate on that important issue once more.”We are not here to blame each other, but to try to find solutions to help ourselves become more effective in our important task,” Mr. Kavan said, acknowledging that there were different views on the role of civil society in armed conflict prevention. Praising the role of civil society, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Danilo Turk said it was clear that the UN could not do everything itself, and partnership was a major requirement for success. The resolution adopted by the Assembly represents a step forward in the long historic march towards the prevention of armed conflict, he added.Jan Egeland, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs said NGOs are becoming increasingly effective as facilitators and mediators. He also stressed that he knew of no successful peace process where governments, NGOs and intergovernmental organizations were not involved. On 3 July, the Assembly adopted a resolution recognizing the important supporting role of civil society in the prevention of armed conflict, and invited it to continue to support efforts to prevent armed conflict and to pursue practices that foster a climate of peace. read more

Target says its blown away by Canadian welcome to first store openings

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Target’s U.S. executives say they are blown away with consumer response to the opening of the chain’s first 24 stores in Canada and expect the foray will be profitable next year.Chief financial officer John Mulligan told CIBC’s retail conference on Thursday that reaction has been like Black Friday and Boxing Day, two key shopping days that traditionally drive high spending.“It’s like having that every single day, all day long, so it’s been quite remarkable the response,” Mulligan said of the openings in the Toronto area.Target has been criticized during its unofficial “soft openings” for running out of some products in the frenzy to keep up with demand. Milk has been a big seller, which Mulligan said is a very important sign because groceries drive how frequently shoppers visit stores and encourage important midweek purchases.Minnesota-based Target (NYSE:TGT) plans to open an addition 100 stores in Canada this year, reaching 150 locations by 2017 when its Canadian operations are expected to generation 10 per cent of systemwide earnings.“We have seen overwhelming response as Canadian consumers have come into the stores and we’re thrilled by that, that’s a great problem to have, more people than we expected,” Mulligan said.While Canada’s retail environment is less competitive than the U.S. with lower per capita square footage, Target said it is entering a market with very, very strong local operators, particularly grocery chains and Canadian Tire, along with U.S. stalwarts like Walmart and Costco.“So when we look across, we recognize that this is an area with very strong competition and we need to do the things we do well, extremely well,” Mulligan said.That means competing with local rivals on price, even if they are higher than in the United States and differentiating itself on assortment and style.One way the company says it has set itself apart has been to work with musicians such as Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift to offer extra tracks on their CDs sold in Target stores.Mulligan said Target’s research has found that consumer behaviour is similar in Canada and the U.S. He said the top thing the chain has heard is Canadians want the same retail experience as in the U.S., not “Target Light” or “Target Canada.”However, the novelty of entering Quebec in a new language has prompted Target to purposefully delay store openings in the French-speaking province.“There’s a reason that Quebec comes late in the opening cycles. There’s a lot for us to learn and we spent a lot of time trying to learn everything we’re going to need to do to enter there appropriately.”While Target’s first Canadian store openings have generated buzz, several of the country’s leading retailers say the arrival of the U.S. giant has so far had a limited impact on them.Supermarket chains Metro Inc. (TSX:MRU) and Empire Co. (TSX:EMP.A) said Target’s food offerings so far have mainly been in dry groceries and that prices are similar to the discounted levels already seen in Ontario’s highly competitive market.“The pricing is at or about the discount pricing in the market so we didn’t see price disruption coming from Target so far but it’s early,” Metro CEO Eric La Fleche told the Toronto conference.Just weeks after the first Target stores opened, some Metro stores have seen traffic increase while others have lost some grocery sales. However, La Fleche said it was too early to tell what the impact of Target has been.Mulligan said that driving traffic to Target stores from food sales is less important than in the U.S. because of the prime locations of the former Zeller’s stores in Canada.Empire, which operates Sobey’s and the Freshco discount banner and is a wholesaler of some products for Target, said the competitor’s arrival has actually increased consumer traffic to its nearby locations.“We believe our differentiated food offering will allow us to continue to convince customers that although there are opportunities to serve parts of their grocery needs at other players, that if you are looking to do a full grocery shop in this country we are still the best full-service provider in order to meet those customer needs,” chief financial officer Paul Jewer told the conference.Canadian Tire (TSX:CTC) said it has been preparing for heightened competition by renovating stores, adding new formats, introducing new technology and preparing to launch online shopping later this year.Two years ago it reviewed its outdoor living category and made changes to appeal to consumers. A similar opportunity exists in hunting, fishing and tools.“We believe we can improve our execution and our offering to our consumers to keep us the top of mind,” said Marco Marrone, chief operating officer.CIBC World Markets said discount department stores are poised to take more market share in the coming year as debt-conscious consumers and relatively stagnant wage growth weighs on retail spending.“Canadians have heard the message from Ottawa: be careful what you borrow for. But turning more prudent on debt accumulation has meant leaner times for retail spending growth over the last year,” chief economist Avery Shenfeld wrote in a report published for the conference.Retail sales grew just 2.5 per cent last year marking the second year of decrease from the 5.6 per cent growth in 2010 when Canadians were more eager to borrow at low rates to finance their shopping sprees.Disposable income gains will likely remain modest this year.“In that climate, discount stores will continue to grab market share, particularly given the entry of a major U.S.-based player this year,” Shenfeld said.After a peaceful and prosperous decade for Canadian retailers, large U.S. retailers including Target, Nordstrom and international specialty retailers are beginning to offer some competitive disruption, added CIBC analyst Perry Caicco.These developments “will test the resolve and resiliency of Canadian retailers, large and small” for the next few years, he said. However, he said the competition will “make it a good time to be a consumer as choices will continue to expand and prices will come down.” Target says it’s blown away by Canadian welcome to first store openings by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Mar 28, 2013 1:12 pm MDT read more

The real life story of a British Narcos agent who infiltrated Colombias

A former UK customs agent who masterminded the seizure of £3bn worth of cocaine while working undercover in South America, has claimed that a lack of intelligence on the ground means the UK government can no longer track the flow of cocaine out of Colombia and onto the streets of the UK.Tom Chandler, a former member of a top-secret team at Her Majesty’s Customs & Excise, infiltrated Colombia’s most notorious drug cartels and ran a network of 50 informants, many of whom were based in the country’s air and seaports.In a new book about his work, Narco Wars, Chandler tells the story of his work and team of agents for the first time and how he braved threats to his life as he battled to stem the flow of drugs onto the UK’s streets.During his four years in Colombia he oversaw the seizure of 290 tonnes of drugs worth £3 billion, and helped secure the arrest of 300 drug traffickers, stemming the flow of class A drugs onto UK streets.But because of changes to the rules governing how law enforcement agencies handle informants abroad, running an informal network became too complicated, says Chandler (not his real name). When he left Colombia in 1998 Chandler’s team of informants were identifying several shipments of cocaine each week, and generating five or six seizures every month.“They were passing us a constant flow of rich intelligence about major cartels and criminal groups in the UK, Europe and Colombia, how they operated, their latest transport methods and planned shipments,” he says.But when the Serious Organised Crime Agency took over drug operations from customs and excise in 2006 they wanted a “clean slate” and the informant network was dismantled, he says. A Colombian policeman on a raid of a cocaine lab Show more A year before he left Colombia he was told that the cartel was becoming suspicious of him and he had to scale back his contacts with informants and take a circuitous route to travel from his base in Bogotá to the coastal city of Cartagena, where most of the smuggling took place. “It was a real loss of intelligence. The mafia still controls the airport at Bogotá and they could be putting drugs or even semtex on the planes and the UK authorities would not have a clue about it,” he says.He says this loss of intelligence has led to an increase in the amount of drugs flowing onto UK streets, with the number of drug users steadily increasing over recent years.“When I started working for customs and excise the government made drug trafficking a top national priority. But today, the flow of cocaine onto the UK streets is as high as it was when I started. The wheel has turned full circle,” he says. But it was his four years in Colombia as part of an elite but secretive team attempting to stop the flow of cocaine into the UK that put him in the gravest danger.Posing as an embassy official, he arrived in Colombia in 1994, just a few months after notorious mafia kingpin Pablo Escobar, immortalised in the Netflix show Narcos, was killed and the brutal Cali cartel took over control of Colombia’s cocaine production.The UK authorities wanted to keep the team’s activities under the radar, says Chandler. The National Crime Agency (NCA), the government agency which investigates organised crime, said it worked closely with authorities in Colombia and pointed to a number of recent successes, such as the arrest of four men in January who attempted to smuggle half a ton of cocaine into the UK on a private jet.Two British men and a Spanish national were each sentenced to 24 years in prison for their part in the crime. Another Spanish national was sentenced to 20 years.And in June a member of Heathrow ground staff was jailed for 13 years for his part in helping smuggle cocaine from Bogotá.An NCA spokesman said: “We have very significant partnerships with law enforcement across South America to counter the drugs trade at home and abroad. We work with a number of Colombian departments including the Colombian National Police and the office of the Attorney General of Colombia.”This activity is focused on reducing the threat to the UK from the cocaine trade in Colombia and the region, as well as disrupting money laundering and other criminal economies linked to drugs trafficking and other organised crime.”Chandler spent three decades as an investigator for HM Customs & Excise, the Serious Organised Crime Agency and its successor, the NCA. 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. “There have been loads of TV programmes about the work of US agencies but the British had a very different approach. Everything was kept secret – we were an elite group of investigators who tackled top-level crime,” he says.In September 1996 180 kg of cocaine was smuggled onto a British Airways flight from Bogotá and was seized by customs officials at Heathrow thanks to intelligence from one of Chandler’s informants.Worth £27m, this was the largest ever cocaine seizure at Heathrow but Jasper, a customs sniffer dog, took the glory for the find.“The US Drug Enforcement Administration had more than 100 agents in Colombia, they were armed and had a huge presence with lots of money and security. We were just two people at the beginning, although later I built the team up to five. We were tiny and didn’t have huge infrastructure, support or money,” says Chandler. His wife and son already had bodyguards and were driven around in an armoured car. But his son never went out on his own and when the family returned to the UK it took him a few months to get used to his freedom, he says.Now, Chandler believes the government has taken its eye off the ball in terms of fighting the “war on drugs”, with cocaine consumption in the UK rocketing.“Today, the rise in acquisitive crime such as robberies and thefts and the stabbings we see on the streets of London are directly linked to the drugs trade,” he says.A National Crime Agency spokesman said: “We have very significant partnerships with law enforcement across South America to counter the drugs trade at home and abroad. We work with a number of Colombian departments including the Colombian National Police and the office of the Attorney General of Colombia. This activity is focused on reducing the threat to the UK from the cocaine trade in Colombia and the region, as well as disrupting money laundering and other criminal economies linked to drugs trafficking and other organised crime.” Protect yourself and your family by learning more about Global Health Security  “The first reason for the secrecy was to protect us as we didn’t want the world to know we were out there. But we also wanted to protect our methods,” he adds.The British agents relied on old-fashioned spy “tradecraft” to protect their operations, learning evasive driving techniques, counter surveillance and agent recruitment.The Cali cartel was a sophisticated operation, with its own network of informants and intelligence networks to monitor official communications.Chandler feared that he could be unmasked as an agent at any time and returned to the UK when he realised that the pressure he was under had become overwhelming.“I trusted my UK team but it was hard to trust people in the Colombian agencies. The cartel tapped our telephones and had informants everywhere. When I came back to the UK it took a while to slip back into normal life. I was always watching out to see if anyone was following me,” he says. A Colombian policeman on a raid of a cocaine labCredit:Tom Chandler read more

With Kinect no longer required will we get a 399 Xbox One

first_imgEver since Microsoft first revealed the Xbox One it has been criticized for a number of the included features deemed as standard and forward looking. And in response, Microsoft has repeatedly reversed those decisions.The once always-connected machine that incorporated a used game management system, an always-on and always-connected Kinect sensor, and no room for self-publishing indie developers, is now a console you can run offline, can trade used games freely, has embraced indie developers, and as of yesterday, no longer requires the Kinect sensor be plugged in.Gamers can finally stop complaining about the Xbox One, right? Well, there is one more feature that hasn’t been met with too much enthusiasm: the price. The biggest remaining advantage the PS4 definitely has over the Xbox One is the $100 price difference. But could that also now change?An Xbox One OS developer revealed back in July that the Kinect unit that ships with Xbox One actually costs more to manufacture than the console itself. With the motion controller now no longer being a mandatory peripheral, it gives the option for Microsoft to ship a version of the console without it in the box.It seems unlikely Microsoft would make such a change so close to launch, but did anyone see that Kinect decision coming yesterday? There’s also going to be a great temptation by Microsoft to remove that price differential with Sony’s console. If the Kinect does cost so much to make, removing it from the box and matching the PS4 at $399 would actually generate Microsoft more profit, or less loss per sale than the $500 version.It’s also worth considering why there was uproar over the fact Kinect always needed to be connected. Gamers were mainly concerned about privacy issues, but there’s also those who just don’t see the benefit of the motion controller and can’t see any real use for it. Microsoft keeps saying it will enhance gaming, but they haven’t really given any compelling evidence of that yet. Battlefield 4 will take advantage of it, but that’s mainly voice commands, and Killer Instinct uses it to identify you for tournament play, but that’s a niche use.So, a $399 Xbox One without Kinect is now possible and I believe it would be popular with gamers while allowing Microsoft to better compete with the PS4 this holiday season. But will Microsoft do one more u-turn and offer such a package?last_img read more

We still want answers Gussie Shanahans family ask man who rang his

first_img Aengus ‘Gussie’ Shanahan went missing in 2000 and his remains were only identified last year 4 Comments May 13th 2019, 8:45 PM ‘We still want answers’: Gussie Shanahan’s family ask man who rang his father about case to come forward The 20 year-old went missing in Limerick in 2000. Monday 13 May 2019, 8:45 PM 25,215 Views Aengus ‘Gussie’ Shanahan went missing in 2000 and his remains were only identified last year By David Raleigh Short URL THE FAMILY OF a Limerick man whose partial skeletal remains were discovered in 2001 have issued a fresh appeal for information about his death.20 year-old Aengus ‘Gussie’ Shanahan was last seen alive in his native Limerick city on 11 February, 2000.Bone fragments belonging to him were later found washed up in Co Clare on 28 October, 2001 by members of Bunratty Search and Rescue Service.However, the partial remains were only confirmed as belonging to Gussie last year following improvements in DNA technology, gardaí said.A garda review of the case, launched late last year, is ongoing.Today, Gussie’s family launched a fresh campaign for information — including a confidential telephone line 087 122 2950 — which will be manned by members of the Shanahan family.His sister Gráinne said that she and her family believe he was murdered.“We are going with this new appeal because this is a different chapter in the case,” she said.“We have laid him to rest, but we still want answers as to what happened to Gussie.”She appealed directly to those who may have information about her brother’s disappearance and death to let the family know what happened.She particularly appealed to a male who contacted her father Bob years ago with possible information about the case.“The man rang my dad and said that Gussie had been in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Gráinne said.“We’d like to hear from that man again, and anyone that knows what happened on the night Gussie disappeared.”She also said that any information given to the family would be treated in “strict confidence”.Gussie’s bone fragments were laid to rest beside his late mother Nancy last November following his funeral mass.Speaking before the funeral, Bob Shanahan said that hearing from gardaí that the bone fragments found 17 years earlier belonged to his missing son was like being “struck by a thunderbolt”.The investigation team at Roxboro Road Garda Station can be contacted at 061 214 340 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111. Share27 Tweet Email Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Murder plot improved sex lives court told

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A man who pleaded guilty to stabbing his lover’s husband told the court planning the attack had improved their sex life. While this was happening, Vicky Soteriou was crying and hysterical, or pretending to be hysterical.Ari Dimitrakis, 48, appeared in Melbourne’s Supreme Court yesterday, pleading guilty to a charge of intentionally causing serious injury, the Herald Sun reports. The newspaper says Dimitrakis said he had had discussions with his lover, Vicky Soteriou, 43, about plans to murder her husband to heighten their sexual enjoyment. The court heard the self-employed chauffeur stabbed Mr Soteriou, a consultant civil engineer, five times in the neck and chest outside a Fitzroy restaurant in January, after he had been celebrating his 44th birthday with his wife, the paper says. Counsel for the defense, Con Kilias, said the pair arranged for Dimitrakis to attack Mr Soteriou after the couple had reached their car, the Herald Sun says. “While this was happening, Vicky Soteriou was crying and hysterical, or pretending to be hysterical,” the Herald Sun quotes Kilias as saying. The Age reports that Crown prosecutor Andrew Tinney, SC, told the court that the couple plotted to kill Mr Soteriou for his assets, including $2 million in superannuation and a family house in Ivanhoe. Vicky Soteriou is awaiting a pre-trial committal hearing on charges including attempted murder. The plea hearing before Justice Paul Coghlan continues.last_img read more

Un poisson dont la structure du pénis varie en fonction des prédateurs

first_imgUn poisson dont la structure du ‘pénis’ varie en fonction des prédateursPubliant leur étude dans le Journal of Evolutionary Biology, des chercheurs américains ont mis en évidence, chez un petit poisson des Bahamas, la variabilité de la morphologie de l’organe copulateur mâle en fonction de la présence ou non de prédateurs dans l’habitat.”Des îles aquatiques dans une mer de terre” : c’est ainsi que le Pr R. Brian Langerhans, de l’Université d’état de Caroline du Nord, décrit son terrain d’études, les trous bleus des Bahamas. Il s’agit de vastes puits naturels emplis d’eau de mer, émaillant le relief côtier rocheux. Une configuration géologique unique au monde et, pour les biologistes, un véritable laboratoire naturel de l’évolution. Ainsi, à l’intérieur de certains de ces trous bleus, Gambusia hubbsi, un poisson vivipare, vit paisiblement, sans craindre d’agression, tandis que dans d’autres, il vit entourée de prédateurs. Et d’un environnement à l’autre, les mœurs sexuelles de cette espèce changent du tout au tout. Aidé de son assistante Justa Heinen-Kay, le Pr Langerhans a constaté qu’en présence de prédateurs, le G. hubbsi mâle troque sa parade nuptiale élaborée contre une approche plus fréquente, plus directe et plus ‘musclée’ des femelles. Mieux : pour optimiser la pénétration, le mâle arbore alors un gonopode (organe copulateur, d’environ 1 mm chez ce petit poisson) plus long, plus osseux et plus allongé que ses congénères occupant les trous bleus sans prédateurs.Pour un accouplement rapide et efficace À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?”Quand les prédateurs sont présents aux autours, les mâles de G. hubbsi passent beaucoup de temps à tenter de s’accoupler avec les femelles en raison du taux élevé de mortalité [de l’espèce]. Nous supposons que ces mâles de G. hubbsi ont acquis ces gonopodes plus osseux et plus allongés comme un moyen de copuler même lorsque les femelles ne coopèrent pas”, explique Justa Heinen-Kay. “Fondamentalement, les mâles ont besoin de transférer autant de sperme que possible, aussi rapidement que possible, et cette différence de forme pourrait faciliter cela”, conclut le Pr Langerhans.Le 20 octobre 2013 à 19:31 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Shawsheen Elementary School Adds A Kindness Library

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Shawsheen Elementary School recently added a “Kindness Library” to its school library.Kindness libraries are bookcases filled with more than 50 different children’s books books that teach and highlight lessons in kindness.  The mobile bookshelf is filled with quality texts that help foster and support friendships and kindness initiatives at school.The Shawsheen received the kindness library after winning a raffle at the Massachusetts Reading Association Conference. The kindness library, valued at approximately $1,000, was donated by the Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation, Inc.“The Kindness Library will provide a concrete place for students to initiate inclusive behaviors while fostering friendships and reinforcing kindness,” said Principal Lisa King. “This gift represents and touches upon many values that we hope to instill in our youth, such as respect, kindness, empathy and inclusion.”The school dedicated the library to the district’s late superintendent Joanne Benton. A plaque with her name was included on the bookshelf.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedLIBRARY LINEUP: How To Talk To The Other Side on Sept. 10; Classical Music Concert on Sept. 12In “Community”BREAKING NEWS: Longtime School Committee Member, Community Leader Peggy Kane Passes AwayIn “Breaking News”SCHOOL COMMITTEE NEWS: Wilmington Rotary Club Donates $6,000 For Student Physical Activity BagsIn “Education”last_img read more

Have you lost your Border Colliecross

first_imgAlso read: Rocks thrown at AACL kennelsUnfortunately, no dogs are up for adoption this week.A very special thank you to Pierre Massyn, Hamilton Preparatory School, Royal Hotel, OBC Chicken, Mrs Price and Mrs du Plessis for their kind contributions to the league.If you are interested in donating, then please do so. Any contribution is greatly appreciated.The league desperately needs cash. If you want to contribute, then you can make a deposit into their bank account.The details are: Nedbank, Ladysmith, Cheque Account: 1330077512, Branch Code: 1330.The AACL would like to make the community aware that their working hours are 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to 1pm on Saturday (the kennels are closed on Sundays).Click to receive news links via WhatsApp. Or  for the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Join us there! A Border Collie-cross dog was found in Harrismith Road recently. If this dog belongs to you, then please contact the Animal Anti-Cruelty League (AACL) to claim this beautiful animal. He desperately wants his rightful owners to come pick him up.Cute kittens and cats are up for adoption. If you are interested in adopting a feline friend, then contact the AACL as soon as possible on 076-151-1784.Also read: Animal abuse: Neglected dog with broken leg put down at Ladysmith AACL WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite last_img read more

TravelManagers Virgin Selfie at the Footy

first_imgJosie Puglia – (left to right) Sir Richard Branson was the unexpected star of last weekend’s AFL match for TravelManagers’ Josie Puglia (centre) when she was introduced by Virgin Australia’s Felicity Allen (at left)TravelManagers’ Virgin Selfie at the FootyWhen the Adelaide Crows faced off against the Western Bulldogs in an AFL Elimination Final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, at least one footy fan at the ground was distracted from the game by the unexpected presence of Sir Richard Branson at the same function.Josie Puglia, representative for Geelong, Victoria, was one of ten travel agents who, along with their partners, had been invited as guests of Virgin Australia. During the hosted pre-match dinner in the MCG’s Olympic Room, the guests were spoken to by Gillon McLachlan, Chief Executive of the AFL, before the group proceeded outside to watch the game.“Sir Richard was sitting a couple of rows behind me during the match,” explains Puglia. “When Felicity Allan, who is the Industry Sales Manager VIC/TAS for Virgin Australia, introduced me to Sir Richard, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to ask for a selfie together,” she adds with a smile.Puglia says she was most impressed by the hospitality provided by Virgin Australia and by the Virgin boss himself, although she’s not certain how happy he was with the outcome of the match.“He was wearing a Western Bulldogs jersey but it didn’t do them any good – the Crows finished ahead by seven points!”About TravelManagers TravelManagers operates in all Australian States and is a wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independent travel company, which has a forecast turnover of $1.5 billion for 2015. TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel, and has more than 480 personal travel managers throughout Australia with a dedicated support team at the company’s national partnership office in Sydney. TravelManagers places all customer money in a dedicated and audited Client Trust Account which is separate from the general business accounts, ensuring client funds are only used for client purchases. Join TravelManagers Australiabecome a Personal Travel ManagerSource = TravelManagers Australialast_img read more