Vermont Chamber Hosts Chinese Small Business Delegation

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first_imgThe itinerary, with open press availability, includes:10:00 – 10:45 a.m. ECHO at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain1:30 – 2:20 p.m. Vermont State House, Montpelier2:45 – 3:30 p.m. Ben & Jerrys, Waterbury3:40 – 4:30 p.m. Cold Hollow Cider Mill, WaterburyVermont is the Shanghai Small Enterprises Trade Development Service Center (SSETDSC) delegations first stop on a 14-day tour of 8 other destinations. Many of these stops include high profile tourism destinations around the country, but here in Vermont, their visit is all business.Chris Barbieri, Director of the Vermont Chambers Asia Division, noted This delegation is coming to Vermont because of the relationship we have with the SSETDSC, and to pursue potential mutual business opportunities between the greater Shanghai region and Vermont. For a number of years, Barbieri has worked with the SSETDSC on economic and trade initiatives. Im delighted that the delegation chose to kick off their trip with a business visit to Vermont, stated Barbieri.The delegations visit comes on the heels of the Vermont Chambers agricultural outreach trade mission to China in October, where the SSETDSC hosted a luncheon for the visiting Vermonters. The Vermont Chamber has maintained international trade offices in Shanghai, China and Taipei, Taiwan for a number of years, most recently under the leadership of Chris Barbieri, who lived in China for the past three years.###last_img

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Los Monos recruiting children to sell drugs in the Argentine province of Santa Fe

first_img Argentinian security forces in the La Granada district discovered in March two tunnels connected to properties owned and used by Los Monos. Los Monos used the tunnels to flee from law enforcement officers. Sinaloa Cartel used similar tunnels to smuggle drugs, weapons, and people from Mexico across the U.S.-Mexico border. The use of tunnels was pioneered by Sinaloa Cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in the 1980s. Mexican Marines and police agents captured El Chapo in Mazatlan in February 2014. Following the discovery of the tunnels, someone sent a series of threatening electronic messages to authorities. At least one of the messages included a death threat against the security minister of Santa Fe province, Raúl Lamberto, and two of his aides. “What you are going to find underground are their bodies,” one of the messages warned. Lamberto has launched a series of security initiatives against Los Monos. He and his aides have not been harmed. Sophisticated tunnels Los Monos threatens to kill judge and prosecutor Los Monos is capable of extreme violence and is even willing to target law enforcement officials. In March 2014, after obtaining a court order, authorities recorded a phone conversation in which an inmate in a prison in Santa Fe province spoke to another inmate in a different detention facility. The taped conversation revealed that the inmates were scheming to kill a prosecutor, Guillermo Camporini, and Judge Juan Carlos Viena, who were investigating Los Monos. Los Monos was planning on having an enforcer known as “Anteojito” kill the prosecutor and the judge, authorities learned from the phone call. The prosecutor and the judge have not been harmed. By Dialogo April 20, 2014 Rosario is key location for drug trafficking The city of Rosario is a strategic point for drug traffickers. Roads converge in the city with international connections to Bolivia and Paraguay. The province has several private ports on the bank of the Paraná River where drugs can be exported to other countries. From Jan. 1 2014 through March 31, the Argentinian Anti-Narcotics Police seized 25 tons of cocaine and 80 tons of marijuana throughout the country, authorities said. In addition to Los Monos, several other organized crime groups operate in Argentina. Some of these, such as Los Urabeños, Envigado, and La Cordillera, are based in Colombia. Elements of the Shining Path, a leftist Peruvian group which engages in drug trafficking, and the Sinaloa Cartel also operate in Argentina. Argentinian security forces must remain vigilant in the battle against Los Monos and other organized crime groups, according to Tibiletti, the security analyst. The various criminal activities of Los Monos and other organized crime groups pose a “complex problem,” Tibiletti said. “There is no unique solution.” Security forces at the federal, state, and local levels should share information and cooperate to fight micro-trafficking and other criminal activities, Tibiletti said. Los Monos and other Argentinian gangs are using children, threatening law enforcement officials and escaping through tunnels as the violent battle for control of drug trafficking routes in department of Rosario continues to escalate. Los Monos and other gangs are providing firearms to children, who are known as “little soldiers,” and ordering kids and teenagers to act as hit men. Gang members, including young men, teenagers, and children, usually kill each other. Most of the victims between rival gangs are male and between the ages of 15 and 35, authorities said. In a typical killing, two or three armed youths will shoot a drug gang rival on the street, in the open, then run away, officials said. “Perhaps, the most painful face of this production and criminal system are the teenagers recruited as little soldiers and the workers in bunkers and kiosks (drug distribution centers),” according to the documentary “Lost Streets,” produced by the National University of Rosario (UNR). Gang leaders pay young soldiers, those who are younger than 16, between $10 and $37 (USD) a day. In Rosario, drug gangs sell about $250 million (USD) in drugs annually, according to the documentary “Lost Streets.” Youths sell drugs from locked sheds or kiosks. Young gang members who sell drugs are forced to hand over the money to an adult gang member at the end of an 8-hour shift, according to the documentary. The child then leaves and is replaced by another youth, who will continue to sell drugs from the shed or kiosk. The drug violence has left a deadly toll. For example, 264 people were killed in the city of Rosario in 2012, according to local government statistics. The number of killings in Rosario rose to 365 – an average of one per day – in 2013. Between Jan. 1, 2014, and March 31, police said 80 killings were connected to fights between rival drug gangs, according to a report issued jointly by the Fundación La Alameda, which fights human trafficking, and the National Anti-Mafia Network. Los Monos is responsible for much of the violence in Rosario, said Paz Tibiletti, representative of the Latin American Security and Defense Network (RESDAL), based in Argentina. Los Monos has dominated sales of marijuana in Rosario since the 1990s, according to Tibiletti. Since it took over the marijuana trade, the gang has expanded its drug activities to the production of coca paste, which is used to make cocaine, and the selling and trafficking of cocaine. Los Monos strengthened its distribution network by forming an alliance with the Cantero crime family. In addition to selling and trafficking drugs, Los Monos engages in money laundering, extortion, and other criminal enterprises. Los Monos is led by Ramón Ezequiel Machuca, who is also known as “Monchi Cantero”. Los Monos has the capacity to pay off corrupt officials and has a “multilayer structure similar to Mexican cartel structures,” retired Argentinian General Norberto López Camelo wrote on his blog. Los Monos has the capacity to pay off corrupt officials and has a “multilayer structure similar to Mexican cartel structures,” retired Argentinian General Norberto López Camelo wrote on his blog. Security forces battle complex problem Los Monos This world is getting worse everyday. I’m surprised by Argentina, where they love and respect children so much. How unfortunate that they are ending their future, this way we are going to become extinct. The ones greatly responsible for the violence in Rosario are the provincial police and the Socialist government. The police (ungovernable) is a partner in drug trafficking by providing arms to children and looking the other way, because they are hired by the drug lords. Before they used to handle other crimes, and were always associated with the local security forces. You forgot to add that to date, most of the stands have been or are being destroyed by the federal forces that surrounded all the city and its surroundings as part of an undercover movement. The first thing that the countries in the world need to do is preach more the words of Jesus Christ. Worry more about spiritual things instead of material and sexual ones. You also forgot to interview the security officials who are doing a fine job by disarming the drug gangs in Santa Fe. You put together a note by collecting information from the internet, at least do a proper search. It’s OK if you make a reference from a documentary made by an university, but you also need to interview the officials, who are the ones with accurate and current information. Unless the intention of the note is to discredit Argentina. WE MUST END THESE ACTIVITIES ONCE AND FOR ALL, THEY ONLY SERVE TO HARM CHILDREN AND NOT TO OFFEND A FEW PEOPLE, I DON’T KNOW HOW TO CALL THEM. WHO ARE READING, AND TO FILL THEIR POCKETS AT THE EXPENSE OF THESE LITTLE BEINGS/CREATURES OF GOD. Always the same, it’s tiring. May God help us. We must pray a lot so that NSJ can help those families who have been segregated and who don’t even realize that they are lost. Wow, now I understand the amount of corruption in the world, especially here in Peru.last_img

What Nepal Has Lost Is A Lesson For Humanity

first_imgView image | Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The first dead body I ever saw was lying on a funeral pyre in Nepal. It wasn’t a high-caste affair at the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu. There was no tell-tale shroud, so I was surprised when I realized that the oddly shaped stick being licked by the flames was actually an emaciated brown limb. Then I noticed the calloused foot.Now there’s so much death, so much destruction, it’s all you can see. The death toll is rising into the tens of thousands as the international rescue effort struggles to reach the far-flung villages of Nepal. As the days stretch into weeks before help arrives, I hope the living won’t come to envy the dead. I’ve trekked on those steep winding trails, climbing one hill only to descend to a narrow valley, and having to cross swinging rope bridges over raging rivers that would have given Indiana Jones second thoughts.When I spotted the top of a stupa, a Buddhist temple, overlooking a pile of rubble in Kathmandu, I felt some relief to know that some artifacts of the country’s priceless heritage survived the devastation. But so much will be lost forever.Kathmandu had its heyday about 500 years ago, give or take a century or two, when the silk trade between China and India was very lucrative through those Himalayan passes. At one point in the Kathmandu valley there were actually three kingdoms, when the royal family split apart, each son apparently competing with the others to build the most impressive temple complex in Bhaktapur and Patan as well as in the original royal city. Those are the pagoda structures that took the biggest hit from the massive shockwave. View image | An earthquake in 1988 had registered 6.5 on the Richter scale and left hundreds dead and thousands homeless. Saturday’s quake had a magnitude of 7.8. The loss is incalculable.Until 1951, Nepal was known as “the forbidden kingdom,” a Hindu monarchy about the size of Tennessee wedged between India and Tibet, separated on the north by the Himalayas, the highest mountain range in the world culminating with Mount Everest, and on the south by the Terai, tropical lowlands where the Buddha was born in Lumbini more than two millennia ago. The country’s sovereignty was protected by a treaty between Great Britain’s East India Company and Nepal’s aristocracy, who guaranteed a supply of troops in exchange for never becoming a colony like India. It was those fierce soldiers, the Gurkhas, who made a name for themselves fighting alongside the Allies against the Japanese in World War II.When they returned home after the war, they brought a different world view that ultimately led to a unique revolution. Instead of overthrowing the raja—the king—it restored him to power because since the 19th century the ruling family were the Ranas, whose progeny became Nepal’s hereditary prime ministers. The status quo came to an abrupt end in 1950 when King Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah managed to escape the Ranas’ guards by allegedly going on a hunting trip with his family but instead seeking asylum in India. Tellingly, the Nepalese regard him as the Father of the Nation because he set the country on the path to a constitutional monarchy. He died in 1955.I arrived in Nepal in time for the 1975 coronation of his 29-year-old grandson, Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, which had been delayed for a few years by the royal astrologers until the signs were most auspicious. Thanks to my college program, I’d taken my junior year abroad to live with a Nepalese family and get academic credit for making a 16 mm film and writing an article for The Rising Nepal Newspaper.That’s how I ended up at the home of Rishikesh Shah, Nepal’s first ambassador to the United Nations. On the walls of his study were photos of him shaking hands with President John F. Kennedy and Premier Nikita Krushchev. But I never met him because he was residing out of the country while writing a book about the monarchy. Instead, my official host was his wife, a friendly, rather rotund woman, who greeted me upstairs in her bedroom, where she was seated in the middle of a large bed surrounded by paperback novels written in Newari, one of Nepal’s dozens of dialects. She was entertaining a stately, elderly gentleman who seemed to be most amused by my purpose in coming to Nepal.What caste, he asked me, did I wish to be considered equal to? Being an uppity 22-year-old, I scoffed at the notion and told him brashly that in America we had no castes; everyone was equal in the pursuit of happiness. He turned to Mrs. Shah and they nodded at each other knowingly. And so I found myself eating my meals and hanging out with her servants. My dinners were their nightly entertainment. Sometimes, I’d eat before 10 people, all crowded into a tidy kitchen at the back of Mrs. Shah’s compound, watching me plow through mounds of rice, hot chili curries and lentils, the sweat dripping off my brow. And whenever I managed to utter something in Nepalese, which I was allegedly learning during the day, they burst into laughter and smiled broadly.One of the highlights of my five months’ stay was seeing the raja and rani perched in their red velvet-canopied throne atop a lumbering decorated elephant as the royal procession left the old palace in Kathmandu’s Durbar Square after the coronation ceremony. Rani, also known as Queen Aiswarya, didn’t look too comfortable riding up in their howdah, no doubt preferring to be in the back seat of Rolls-Royce. But that ride was a breeze compared to the turbulence to come. With the vast majority of the country living in extreme poverty, tourist dollars and foreign aid, even before a major catastrophe like the recent earthquake, never trickled down far enough. A Maoist insurgency sprung up to bedevil the government, claiming thousands of lives as the rebels demanded land reforms, no royal family and no close ties to India.By the 1990s, Raja Birendra had his hands full. But the worst was yet to come. In June 2001, he and seven members of his family were murdered by his own son and heir apparent, Crown Prince Dipendra, in the new palace. Apparently, the raja, regarded as the reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, the Preserver, was no match for the barrage of bullets fired by his 29-year-old son who may have become unhinged because he’d fallen in love with a woman his mother disapproved of—and the astrologers had advised postponing his marriage until he was 35.The Maoist rebels put their guns down in 2006 but the Nepal government has never gained ground, let alone the upper hand. The average annual income is pegged at $700 a year, and that’s generous. One of the highest-paid gigs is also one of the most dangerous, being a Sherpa guide up Mount Everest where the pay might be up to $5,000. When the recent earthquake struck, it triggered a deadly avalanche that leveled the base camp at 18,000 feet above sea level, killing at least 18 people, injuring and stranding dozens more.The same geological force propelling Mount Everest to become the summit of mountaineers’ aspirations—the tectonic collision slamming the Indian and Eurasian plates—has torn the land asunder. It was only a matter of time. View image | When I visited Bhaktapur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a redevelopment team led by West Germans was training a cadre of skilled Nepali carpenters to restore the temples to their original glory. The project also involved installing public sewers, improving the drinking water and building a bus depot for tourists because all cars were going to be banned from the temple square. The old buildings were too fragile, the project coordinator told me back then, 40 years ago, adding that “heavy traffic” would shake them apart.Today these irreplaceable structures lie in ruins.The question now is not about replacing the past, but helping the Nepalese survive the present.Read about local relief efforts and how you can help HERE.last_img

Nigeria Sars protest: Army chief denies firing live bullets at protesters in Lagos

first_imgIn video footage shared on social media at the time, shots could be heard as protesters sat down, locked arms and sang the national anthem together. Live footage was also streamed from the scene showing protesters tending to the wounded. – Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img

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