Colombia Offers to Assist Other Countries in Combating Drug Trafficking

first_imgBy Dialogo January 25, 2011 In an interview published on 23 January, Colombian Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera said that Colombia has acquired experience in the fight against drug trafficking and could assist other countries in combating it, if the United States and others finance that aid. “We’re not entirely free to offer that cooperation using our own resources, and this is where there’s a place for the new role of allies like the United States and other countries that can finance the (security) aid that Colombia can offer,” Rivera declared to the Bogotá daily El Tiempo. He added that his country has “acquired many capabilities” for the fight against drugs, violence, and kidnapping within the framework of Plan Colombia – which has been sponsored by Washington since 2000 and the budget of which is being gradually reduced by decision of the White House – and that Bogotá is currently assisting Mexico and thirteen other countries, including several in Central America and the Caribbean. That aid “should serve Colombia’s interests in the fight against transnational crime and a portfolio of capabilities that we can offer at the global level,” the minister said. Rivera indicated that Bogotá “will not let down its guard” against drug traffickers, kidnappers, and violent groups, despite the decrease in direct U.S. aid to Plan Colombia, and that the Colombian police and military are already prepared to take over the programs Washington has been financing. The United States dedicated around 465 million dollars in military and financial aid to Plan Colombia in the 2010-2011 fiscal year, compared to 540 million dollars the year before, amid the budget difficulties the White House is facing due to the global crisis. Washington also wants to focus its aid to the Andean country on social programs and strengthening human rights, the judicial system, and other institutions, and not so much on the military apparatus, as was the case in the previous decade. As part of Plan Colombia, approved by former Democratic president Bill Clinton, the United States has given the South American country more than six billion dollars since 2000.last_img read more


Track seeks to improve after Texas Relays

first_imgThe Texas Relays last weekend went very well for the Wisconsin men’s track squad. The team set out to excel in the 4×400-meter relays and achieved a qualifying mark.If this weekend lives up to the Badgers’ expectations, like it did last week, the team should have multiple qualifiers for the Big Ten regionals. The team is sending 16 athletes to this weekend’s events in Knoxville, Tenn., and has high hopes to put up high qualifying marks again.Freshman runner James Groce is part of the 4×400 team that qualified for the Big Ten regionals last weekend. Groce said he was impressed with how well the team did.”First meet, everybody was pretty much going through the motions, getting acclimated from the indoor season to the outdoor season,” Groce said. “Everything gets a little bit longer, but so far so good. Training has been coming along good too. We (4×400 relay) got a fast time down in Texas.”UW head coach Ed Nuttycombe was also satisfied with the team’s performance.”Considering we took a small group of people, it went real well,” Nuttycombe said. “Our 4×400 [relay team] ran the fastest we’ve ran in about 5 or 6 years. … The only thing that didn’t go as we hoped was Rick Bellford in the jumps because he has a bit of a bruised heel, and so we’re kind of nursing that along. Overall, it went well.”Even though the Badgers posted an NCAA-qualifying mark last week for the 4×400 meter, they are sending another 4×400 relay team, but with a different group of runners.”The team is prepared. Chad’s [Melotte] hamstring is bothering him a little bit, but he’s a tough guy. He’ll work through it,” Groce said. “We’ll be ready to race when we need to, but we’re not going to run that team (last weekend’s qualifying team) until the Big Ten [regional].”Nuttycombe chose last weekend specifically to put up a qualifying mark.”We won’t run the same team [this weekend]. We’ll run a good team, but it won’t be [last week’s] team,” said Nuttycombe. “We kind of picked that spot (Texas Relays) on the calendar several weeks ago and kind of said we’re going to go, and that’s going to be the moment where we’re going to try and run fast, and it worked out.”Groce believes this weekend’s relay team may be a little bit slower, but still will be able to find success on the track.”It’ll probably be a little slower because we’re not running all of our best legs,” Groce said. “We pretty much ran all of our best legs at Texas to qualify for regionals to get us in a good seed for conference.”I just want to lay a fast time down to qualify for regionals,” continued Groce, talking about his own results. “So if that gets us the win, then I’d be happy, even if it’s 10th. But [if] we still qualify for regionals, I’d be happy.”Nuttycombe hopes that this weekend will be a success like Texas had been. Nuttycombe is especially eager for this weekend because it is a two-day meet where his runners can have a night’s worth of rest and can compete in multiple races.”That [Texas Meet] was about trying to go run fast in that one particular relay in that particular meet,” Nuttycombe said. “This week is going to be about trying to get on the board with some good open races, meaning non-relay races. It’s a good meet because we can do open races on Friday and come back and run relays on Saturday, so everybody is going to get multiple opportunities to run.”As the season goes on, Nuttycombe believes it’s time for the team to really get going and put up some high qualifying marks.”It’s getting to be the middle part of the season now, and it’s time that the guys stepped it up for us in individual open races,” Nuttycombe said. “I don’t want to single anyone out for this weekend, but there should be some guys this weekend who throw out some good marks.”last_img read more


Dodgers notes: Carl Crawford miffed by All-Star ballot snub

first_imgCrawford was not only an All-Star in 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2010, he was the All-Star game’s Most Valuable Player in 2009.The Dodgers on the All-Star ballot were chosen by general manager Ned Colletti along with representatives from Major League Baseball, a Dodgers official confirmed.The team will promote Crawford as a write-in candidate.Puig is technically on his first ballot, but was nearly voted in by the fans last season courtesy of the NL All-Star final vote. Puig received more votes than anybody in Final Vote history except Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, who beat him out with 19.7 million.The rest of the Dodgers’ All-Star ballot representatives were predictable: Adrian Gonzalez (first base), Dee Gordon (second base), Hanley Ramirez (shortstop), Juan Uribe (third base) and A.J. Ellis (catcher). Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The three outfielders on the ballot aren’t exactly attractive All-Star candidates at the moment. Neither is Crawford for that matter.Puig is hitting .254 with a .338 on-base percentage and a .437 slugging percentage. Kemp’s slash line is 211/.297/.456, Ethier’s is. 194/.247/.284, and Crawford’s is .222/.231/.317. New set-up for Wilson?The Dodgers are considering a removal of reliever Brian Wilson from his current set-up role, according to manager Don Mattingly.Wilson surrendered four runs in the ninth inning of Thursday’s 7-3 loss to the Phillies, giving him two losses in just six appearances this season.After spending 17 days on the disabled list with elbow irritation earlier this month — and not allowing a run in 24 outings last season — one can’t help but wonder if Wilson is healthy.“I think he’s healthy. If he’s not, he’s not telling us,” Mattingly said. “I feel like it’s just execution. He says possibly getting him regular work will get him back in a groove.”Wilson faced six batters Thursday, gave up three hits, hit one batter and intentionally walked another before he was relieved.He only hit 94 mph on the radar gun with two of the nine fastballs he threw Thursday. One was fouled off by Tony Gwynn Jr. and the other hit Ryan Howard. Last year, Wilson’s fastball was averaging between 93 and 94 with a high of 96 mph. Puig to the big screen?Just as the waters were calming after a Los Angeles Magazine story chronicling Puig’s defection from Cuba was published, it made another wave.The film rights to Jesse Katz’s story have been sold to “Rush Hour” director Brett Ratner’s production company, RatPac Entertainment, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The magazine story details Puig’s attempts to escape Cuba and eventually his successful defection courtesy of smugglers working for a Mexican drug cartel. Puig was then held captive by the smugglers for three weeks when the man who sponsored his defection didn’t pay them before he eventually crossed the U.S. border and was signed by the Dodgers to a seven-year, $43 million deal. center_img The irony of being left off the All-Star ballot wasn’t lost on Carl Crawford.The Dodgers outfielder’s four All-Star selections are tied with Adrian Gonzalez for the most of the team, but he was passed over in favor of Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig when the ballot was released Friday.“To not even have a chance, I mean, I’ve got the most All-Stars of anybody on the team,” Crawford said. “Now there’s not even a chance. I don’t know how I’m supposed to take that.”Only three outfielders per team are allowed on the ballot. The Dodgers’ request to add a fourth was denied, according to a Dodgers official.last_img read more


Whicker: 44 notes on 22 NBA teams, before the bubble season begins

first_imgBojan Bogdanovic, averaging 20.2 points, will miss the playoffs with a broken wrist.OKLAHOMA CITY (40-24): Chris Paul is shooting 48.4 percent, his best since 2010, at age 35.Ex-Clippers Danilo Gallinari and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander have combined to average 38.7 points.HOUSTON (40-24): Since Clint Capela was injured, Houston’s small lineup is 11-6 with wins over the Lakers and Utah and two over Boston.James Harden is launching 55.5 of his shots from behind the 3-point line, a career high.DALLAS (40-27): Mavericks are averaging 116.4 points, most since 1987.Luka Doncic ranks sixth in the league in scoring, fourth in assists and in free throw attempts.MEMPHIS (32-33): Six of the Grizzlies’ top nine scorers are in their first, second or third season in the league.Memphis is 26-17 since Dec. 4.PORTLAND (29-37): Damian Lillard is leading the NBA in minutes (36.9) and averaging 28.9 points.Center Jusuf Nurkic returns from a 16-month absence. Power forward Zach Collins, who has missed all but three games, is back, too.NEW ORLEANS (28-36): Brandon Ingram’s 24.3-point average is a six-point improvement over 2019, with the Lakers.The Pelicans are 10-9 since rookie Zion Williamson joined up.SACRAMENTO (28-36): In their first year with coach Luke Walton, the Kings won 10 of 15 games before the break.Backup center Richaun Holmes, on his third team in three seasons, is averaging 12.8 points and 8.3 rebounds in 28.8 minutes.SAN ANTONIO (27-36): The five-time champs will have their first losing season since 1997.The Spurs have held only two opponents under 100 points.PHOENIX (26-39): Among NBA starters, Devin Booker has the best free-throw percentage (91.6).Eight-year veteran Aron Baynes had never shot more than 61 threes in a season. He has 168 this season, making 35.1 percent.EASTERN CONFERENCEMILWAUKEE (53-12): Bucks have a plus-11.2 point differential and lead the league in scoring.No one but Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 10 or more field goals a game while shooting over 50 percent.TORONTO (46-18): The NBA champs are a factor even though Marc Gasol has played only 36 games, and only one starter has played 60.Without Kawhi Leonard, the Raptors lead the NBA in scoring defense and field goal percentage defense.BOSTON (43-21): Kemba Walker has committed one offensive foul in 1,592 minutes.Jaylen Brown has hiked his scoring average from 13 to 20.4 this season.MIAMI (41-24): Undrafted rookie Kendrick Nunn has started 62 games and averages 15.7 points.Undrafted second-year man Duncan Robinson is shooting 44.8 percent from 3-point land with 60 starts.INDIANA (39-26): Domantas Sabonis is fifth in the NBA in rebounds and leads all centers in minutes with 34.8 per game.Pacers take fewer 3-pointers than anyone but shoot 68.9 from 2-point range.PHILADELPHIA (39-26): At 25, Joel Embiid is working on his third consecutive 20-point, 10-rebound season.For the first since 1984-86, the 76ers are going for their third consecutive .600-plus season.BROOKLYN (30-34): The Nets are holding teams to a 44.2 field goal percentage. They haven’t done that in 14 seasons.They are 8-12 when Kyrie Irving plays.Related Articles Clippers rookies key overtime victory over Oklahoma City How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years ORLANDO (30-35): Steve Clifford, in his second season, is the Magic’s fifth coach since Stan Van Gundy was fired in 2013.Former first-overall pick Markelle Fultz (by Philadelphia) leads Orlando in assists (5.2 per game).WASHINGTON (24-40): Bradley Beal averages 30.5 points, a franchise high since Walt Bellamy’s 31.6 in 1962 when the Wizards were the Chicago Packers.What if Beal played against the Wizards, who gave up 150-plus in back-to-back games Jan. 26-28? They surrender 119.7 per game, worst among playoff teams. Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Remember the NBA?If not, save these 44 facts on 22 teams, as the season bubbles up in Orlando July 30:LAKERS (49-14): LeBron James is launching a career-high 6.4 three-pointers and playing a career-low 34.8 minutes per game, but also leads the NBA in assists.The Lakers lead the NBA in blocks and have cut six-and-a-half points off last year’s defensive showing.center_img Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Clippers’ rhythm is missing but their spirits strong before playoff opener AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersCLIPPERS (44-20): They’re second in the West despite two losses to Sacramento and one loss apiece to Atlanta, Chicago and Phoenix.Reggie Jackson has shot 45 percent from the 3-point line in his nine games.DENVER (43-22): Nikola Jokic is the only 20-point, 10-rebound averager in the Western Conference.Michael Porter, injured as a rookie, is averaging 12.6 points and 6.6 rebounds off the bench.UTAH (41-23): Rudy Gobert averages two blocked shots per game but the Jazz ranks 29th in the league in blocks. 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Crash kills student from LMU, injures 4

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The crash occurred as the students were returning to the Westchester campus from a school research project in Wyoming, the Utah Highway Patrol said in a statement. Killed in the crash was Samuel Wasson, 19, of Portland, Ore. The driver, Michael Caserta, 19, of Madison, Conn., fell asleep at the wheel as the group traveled south on Interstate 15 near Fillmore in Millard County at 3:30 a.m., troopers said. Caserta also was cited for being a minor in possession of an open container, the statement said. According to police, the Infiniti Q30 drifted to the left edge of the road as it traveled at 90 mph. Caserta steered sharply back to the right, crossing all lanes and leaving the road to the right. Before leaving the pavement, Caserta steered sharply to the left, causing the car to slide to its right as it left the roadway onto the dirt shoulder. “The car began rolling and rolled several times,” Trooper Greg Kelsey wrote in a report. “During the rollovers, the car struck the embankment of a drainage wash, then continued rolling, finally coming to rest on its side. Two occupants – Wasson and Elizabeth Antonucci, 21, of Glenview, Ill. – were not wearing seat belts. Both were ejected from the car. Wasson and Antonucci were flown by helicopter to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, where Wasson died. Caserta and passengers Tory Smith, 20, of Los Angeles and Peter Garrett, 22, of Palm Desert were taken to Fillmore Community Medical Center. Their conditions were not immediately available. Wasson was a second-year student majoring in theater arts. LMU’s president, Robert Lawton, sent an e-mail Tuesday to students to inform them of the death. The letter encouraged students to seek grief counseling at the university’s Student Psychological Services or Campus Ministry. “Please keep the students and their families in your prayers,” the message said. Wasson is the second LMU student to die in less than a week. Jonathon Michael Evans, 23, of Los Angeles was killed Oct. 18 when his motorcycle crashed into a parked car and a tree on 77th Street near Sepulveda Boulevard. Evans was a senior pursuing a double major in physics and math and a minor in philosophy. [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! TRAGEDY: A second-year theater major died Tuesday when the car he was in flipped in Utah. By Larry Altman STAFF WRITER A Loyola Marymount University student was killed and four others were injured Tuesday when their car rolled over several times while traveling in Utah. last_img read more