Vietnam is building a number of LNG-to-power plants, with the first project planned to be commissioned by 2023 AES to sign deal with PetroVietnam Gas. (Credit: LEEROY Agency from Pixabay) US-based power company AES is reportedly set to sign a deal with PetroVietnam Gas to develop a $2.8bn LNG import terminal and a power plant in Vietnam.At a virtual Indo-Pacific Business Forum, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was quoted by Reuters as saying: “Vietnam has given the green light to AES Corp. AES.N, a company based in Virginia, to go forward with the project.”Pompeo said that the deal, which could be “real win-win situation”, will allow Vietnam to import US LNG worth billions of dollars annually.Vietnam is building a number of LNG-to-power plants, with the first project planned to be commissioned by 2023, reported the news agency.The move is expected to see LNG become the country’s major energy source for its growing economy.Vietnam intends to import majority of its LNG from the USVietnam intends to import a majority of its LNG from the US, which seeks to narrow its trade deficit the Asian country.In 2018, PetroVietnam Gas commissioned the VND10tn ($439m) Ca Mau Gas Processing Plant in the Khánh An commune in U Minh District in the southernmost province of Ca Mau, Vietnam.The plant is capable of producing 600 metric tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) per day as well as 35 tonnes of condensate a day and other supporting products.Expected to cover about 10% of Vietnam’s LPG requirements, the Ca Mau Gas Processing Plant is equipped to have a daily capacity of 6.2 million m3 of gas. It also capable of storing 8,000 tonnes of LPG and 3,000m3 of condensate.
Ava’s letter is incredibly written (although, she admits, laughing off the laudation of her eloquence, she spelt the headmaster’s name wrong), but she is all too aware that, were she a woman of colour, or if Wimbledon High weren’t a private school, the picture of her painted by the media may not have been so glowing. There is the very real understanding that this story may not have been picked up on had Ava not benefited from these kinds of privileges: “I feel like, therefore I have a responsibility to make sure those stories aren’t just heard from my point of view.” To be complimented on her accent, on the way she speaks, is for a listener to detract from the content of the message itself, and, when one person is ‘permitted’ by the media to represent the stories of others, “the focus always has to be on the stories, not necessarily on the way they are told, although that’s incredibly important.” And the stories told are tellingly, and worryingly, diverse: “obviously, the focus of the letter was about misogyny, but a lot of what I received was to do with racism and homophobia. I think we can’t underestimate the racial aspect of this misogyny, too.” To shrug off these stories as “boys being boys”, therefore, is not only to forgive and perpetuate a very real culture of very real violence, but also to ignore the systems of privilege that permeate our society, extending from educational to governmental institutions. It would be amiss, ignorant even, not to acknowledge that KCS is a feeder school to Oxford – 25% of their sixth form students, according to the website, go on to attend Oxbridge – and that these universities are themselves feeders to, as four out of the last five Prime Ministers demonstrate, the highest levels of government: “These people end up having decision-making power over a great proportion of the population. If those decisions are informed by misogyny, or racism, or homophobia, of course that’s really going to impact inequality.” CW: Sexual violence and harassment I’m supposed to be talking to Ava Vakil at 3pm. It’s currently 2:58 and I’m in my pyjamas. I drop her a message, feeling a bit sheepish that I’m so unprepared to interview a woman who has, in the past week, been in the Telegraph and The Times, spoken to Vanessa Feltz, and been given her own IMDb page. “Exactly what I like to hear”, she replies, “I may or may not be in the middle of my skincare regime hahaha.”It is only then that I ask myself why I’m nervous: Ava and I have shared countless conversations about Taylor Swift, Alijaz off Strictly, and Mean Girls: the musical; we’ve split drinks at the Turf Tavern, and I’ve sent her countless messages complaining about my love life. The difference now is that Ava, following her publication of an open letter to the headmaster of King’s College School, Wimbledon, has become a figurehead for the outpouring of frustration felt by women and girls in the face of a “culture of misogyny” not just at KCS, but at schools across the country. I asked her what it’s like to spend her vac not revising for collections, but being interviewed on BBC News: “It feels like I don’t really know what’s happening”, she admits, “but then again, in term time I don’t really know what’s happening so the feeling is kind of the same.” Whilst this may say more about the termly workloads than suddenly having Google searches autocomplete your name, the pressure of powering through a Trinity Term reading list is altogether different to the pressure of the media circus, especially as a young woman. Telling me about the shock she felt upon opening the Daily Telegraph to a photo from her Instagram – used without prior consent – and finding that the image of her face was “about three times bigger than the story”, she gives a wry smile as she acknowledges how “it’s indicative of that desire to go ‘Oh look at this woman’, and then as a subheading ‘Here’s the story.’” Unsurprisingly, there is a vast difference in the ways different publications have chosen to report on Ava’s letter: Glamour’s headline calls her an “inspirational female student”, foregrounding her intention to “give a platform to these stories”; the Daily Mail describes how “a female student has accused a prestigious £20,000-a-year school”, quoting the “hotbed of sexual violence” line. In the face of such a systemic problem, Ava asked herself “where does this problem affect me and affect the people around me? And what power do I have to change that?” For the answer, we need turn only to her letter, a collection of testimonies from young women and men, describing the abuse and violence they suffered at the hands of KCS students. Throughout her experience in the news cycle, Ava constantly keeps in mind that “ultimately the purpose of everything I’m doing right now is to represent the stories and the people who have got in contact with me. … What mattered to me was the voices of the people who had sent me the stories. And it mattered that they were represented properly.” And what of this representation? Throughout our conversation, the matter of intersectionality constantly arose, not just in terms of the “nexus of oppression” that Ava used to describe the interactions of race, class, and gender in the culture of violence the letter reveals, but in Ava’s own ability to represent the stories of her peers in such a public forum. “I think the fact that I’m white really plays into this, particularly in the picture elements in the newspapers,” Ava tells me when I ask her if she believes that she has benefited from the very structures of race and class that compound the misogyny her letter describes. “I think the fact that I went to a private school has played into people’s reception of the story: even on the radio I was told that you could tell from the way I speak that I’m really articulated and educated. So, whilst that’s meant in a really lovely way, ultimately, what is behind that is ‘oh, you have a certain accent, which means what you say is worth more’, which is completely wrong. I have no doubt that the media would have been a lot harsher to me if I didn’t represent all those categories.” In a story supposedly about Dulwich College, it is Ava’s picture that appears alongside Lily Cole’s, an alumnus of another school detailed in the article. “I was seeing myself represented on platforms which I wouldn’t usually interact with myself”, she admits, and in terms of the first time she saw herself in the news, “it was, of course, the Daily Mail, and it was a picture taken from my Instagram, which I had no idea about.” I asked her what she made of her letter being taken out of her hands so quickly, her face and words being one day confined to her Instagram and the next on broadsheet newspapers, but the meteoric rise of her story speaks to the ubiquitous nature of its subject matter: “It doesn’t spread so quickly because it’s some kind of sensational story. It’s not. It’s an everyday story. And that’s what makes it even scarier – this is the everyday reality for a lot of young women. … This is the daily reality of 13- and 14-year-old girls. It’s horrifying.” Throughout our conversation, and throughout all the conversations she has been having with journalists during the last few hectic weeks of her life, Ava always directs attention, sometimes against the will of the interviewer themselves, not to the undeniably unique nature of her own experience, but to the stories with which she has been trusted, and to the horrors that girls and young women deal with on a daily basis. And it is from this place of horror that Ava penned her letter, with real, institutional change in mind. Five days after International Women’s Day, the police forcibly arrested women at the vigil for Sarah Everard, a woman murdered as she walked home in the middle of the evening. “I all just felt like, how can you … tell everyone that it’s great, because it’s International Women’s Day, and therefore we should celebrate women, when there’s violence being perpetrated everywhere else?” Ava, of course, did not have viral fame in mind when she collected these stories of male violence occurring up the road from her – quite the opposite. She recalls messaging her friends on their group chat, feeling helpless in the face of a tragedy at once so overwhelming, but so horrifically commonplace: “I don’t know. I don’t know what to do. The problem just feels so huge.” “The response cannot purely be that of well-meaning talks and videos in PSHE”, Ava’s letter reads, and she is adamant that these attitudes “must be stamped out” at their source, and this requires a response both on a local level, within the governance of schools like KCS, but also in the ethics of media representation: “If young, wealthy, majority white boys grow up seeing that people like them, and people who look like them in the media aren’t held accountable … then of course it’s going to facilitate this culture of thinking that you can do whatever you want. … I think it fosters this sense of being more than or being better than and thinking it’s your right to treat people in this way.” When an educational institution, as the Daily Mail article points out so aggressively, benefits from and instils such privilege, any response must recognise that “it’s the privilege that allows them to hold these attitudes, it’s the privilege that allows them to take them forward into positions of power. And it’s the privilege that means they’re not held accountable for it.” “We have to clock that it’s not just the people in suits who should be telling the stories,” Ava implores, “And that’s when that disruption happens, when we use social media, and when we tap into those more democratic forms of storytelling that don’t have as much top-down power – that’s when people start getting scared, because suddenly you’re hearing from people who you’re not used to hearing from.” The stories contained in her letter tell of abuses permitted within a culture of privilege, and perhaps to be unaware of this in our reporting – and who the media allows to do this reporting – is merely perpetuating the problem. “I think that’s what we need to focus on here: the wider the conversation, the better.” It is at this point her boyfriend’s phone begins to ring, cutting her off as she dismantles self-perpetuating systems of oppression from the other end of a Facetime call. Once we’re back on track, I ask her a question which can often sound rather twee, but it is one that speaks to the kind of local activism Ava instigated, rather than the national response it has received: where does she see this going? She answers quickly – I’ve asked standard journalistic fodder: “it would lead to a place in which people feel as though they have the power to make change themselves. And that putting something on your Instagram story … something in your own words, can have a really big impact.” What follows, however, is far more specific, and a further reminder that I’m speaking to a friend, who hasn’t had to deal with standard journalistic fodder until the past week: “It’s really daunting, and it’s really scary.” After a brief pause, she recounts “feeling like I was in trouble for speaking out about this, which I know is from being indoctrinated to think that I shouldn’t raise these issues, and that, if I do, I’ll be doing something wrong, and I’ll be causing too much of a stir.” I ask her if she felt somehow guilty, and she responds so quickly that my speech-to-text app muddles up the order of our conversation, “I felt so guilty! … I think sometimes we need to be a little less afraid of being criticised for what we say.” As I finish typing up this article, the News at 10 is playing a story about a group of students from Highgate School, who have staged a walkout following allegations of sexual assault, and I am reminded that – even if Ava rightly insists reporters focus on the stories she has published, rather than her personal experiences – she, like all of these students, is dealing with a confluence of their public and private lives, are being asked to juggle BBC interviews with revising Shakespearean history plays. “It’s very strange” she says as we bring the call to a close. Strange, yes, but also far too close to home for far too many.
Inside the new Center for Sleep Disorders at Jersey City Medical Center, patients will enjoy the comfort of private, hotel-like testing suites and are attended to by top clinical specialists. There is a designated room for pediatric patients (5 years and older), which accommodates a parent or guardian to accompany a child. The Center for Sleep Disorders at Jersey City Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, is officially open and serving the needs of Hudson County residents.The state-of-the-art facility, conveniently located at 410 Jersey Ave. and adjacent to the main hospital campus, provides professional consultation, diagnostic and treatment services for patients age 5 years and older, for all types of sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, insomnia, restless leg syndrome and narcolepsy. ×Inside the new Center for Sleep Disorders at Jersey City Medical Center, patients will enjoy the comfort of private, hotel-like testing suites and are attended to by top clinical specialists. There is a designated room for pediatric patients (5 years and older), which accommodates a parent or guardian to accompany a child. Inability to get a good night’s sleep and failure to address a sleep disorder can have a serious effect on one’s health. Hudson County residents can now turn to the Center for Sleep Disorders at JCMC to help identify the underlying conditions causing sleep disorders, using a series of non-invasive tests, and offer treatments to address them. After testing, a Board- Certified physician will review the results and recommend a customized treatment program.“If sleepiness interferes with work or any other daytime activity, and if you’re an adult who gets less than seven hours of sleep a night despite having the ability to go to bed on time, it’s a good idea to get a sleep evaluation,” says pulmonologist Jyoti Matta, MD, Medical Director of the Center for Sleep Disorders at JCMC.Since sleep-related breathing disorders are associated with an increased risk of hypertension, cardiac disease and stroke, it is important to get a diagnosis as soon as possible so that treatment may begin.For more information about how the Center for Sleep Disorders at Jersey City Medical Center can help you, visit rwjbh.org/jcmcsleep or call 201-915-2020.
It is thought to have been responsible for the deaths of emperors. In parts of California’s forests, it is everywhere.It is the deathcap mushroom, Amanita phalloides, so filled with toxins that a single cap can kill anyone who mistakenly eats it and does not get medical treatment. Because it looks like an edible mushroom, the deathcap is among those most involved in human poisoning, such as one that occurred in Newton, Mass., last fall. Through history, it has been a convenient tool for those interested in regime change, playing a key role in the Europe-spanning War of Austrian Succession in the 1700s, which started when Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI died after eating a plate of mushrooms, thought to be deathcaps.Though much is known about the deathcap’s toxicity — it kills by fostering liver failure — much less is understood about its general biology and its role in the environment. Anne Pringle, associate professor of organismic and evolutionary biology, is out to change that.Pringle has spent years in California’s forests, researching the deathcaps that in some parts of the state make up as much as 80 percent of the local biomass of mushrooms. Pringle proved first that the California population was not native, but rather an introduced population from Europe.She’s working now to understand the mushroom’s dispersal across the landscape and its symbiotic partnership with trees. Its widespread presence begs the questions of whether it displaced native symbiotic fungi and whether it spreads more easily as a mutualist (an organism in a relationship beneficial to both partners) than it would as a pathogen, which characterizes most known invasive fungi. She recently concluded that it reproduces more readily through the spread of its spores, which are released from the fleshy gills under its cap, than asexually through fragmentation of its thready subterranean fungal body.Like most mushroom-producing fungi, much of the deathcap’s body actually lies under the Earth’s surface, and its mushrooms are temporary, sent up from the underground filaments to release spores and then fade. Even with the mushroom gone, the fungus still operates underground, decomposing old plant matter and, in the case of the deathcap, partnering with tree roots, providing nitrogen in exchange for carbon compounds.Pringle’s work, conducted through a combination of old-fashioned fieldwork and cutting-edge genetic analysis, has shown that the deathcap spreads slowly. It moves through either the slow creep of its underground body or the floating spread of its spores, which do not drift far from their release point.Humans likely played a big role in the fungus’ spread. Because it lives in association with tree roots, researchers believe it was introduced here from Europe at least twice — once in California and once on the East Coast — by hitching rides on trees transplanted from Europe to America.On the East Coast, Pringle and researchers from her lab have identified dozens of populations: in Newton, near the New Jersey Pine Barrens, near Rochester, N.Y., and in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Pringle says the populations on the East Coast are isolated, not widespread as in California. Another wrinkle of the East Coast populations is that deathcaps are associated with pine trees, not the oaks that they partner with in California and Europe. Pringle and doctoral student Ben Wolfe said that may be because of a slightly different strain being introduced on the East Coast, or it may be because of ecological constraints put on the population on the East Coast by closely related native species, also from the genus Amanita.Though the deathcap may be the star of Pringle’s lab, her work includes other fungal species, as well as lichens, a symbiotic association of fungi and algae.Wolfe, who expects to graduate in December, is working with the U.S. Department of Energy to decode the genome of Amanita species related to the deathcap. He hopes to understand the genetic roots of fungal symbiosis with trees. A bonus of decoding the fungi’s genome, Wolfe said, would be that, in degrading plant material, the fungi produces an enzyme called cellulase, of potential interest in biofuel processing.In talking about her work, Pringle emphasizes the importance of fungal conservation. Fungi have not received the attention that plants and animals have, so less is known about them. With the planet undergoing an extinction crisis, we may be losing fungal species before we even know they’re here, Pringle said.
Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) MGN Stock Image.WARREN – Police in Pennsylvania are looking for a suspect who robbed a local bar while wearing a Halloween costume.Warren-based Pennsylvania State Police were dispatched to the Tidioute Pub on September 16 for a reported burglary.Investigation believe that the unknown suspect stole money from the business while dressed in a Halloween outfit with a mask, dark pants and Addidas shoes.Anyone with information is asked to contact the State Police in Warren County at (814) 728-3600.
William F. Kirk, group vice president of DuPont BiosolutionsEnterprises, will be the featured speaker at the 2000 D.W.Brooks Lecture Oct. 2 in Athens, Ga. Kirk’s lecture, “The 21st Century, an Agribusiness Odyssey,”will precede the presentation of the annual D.W. Brooks Awards.The program will begin at 11 a.m. in the Mahler Auditorium ofthe University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education. The first Brooks Award was established in 1981 to recognizefaculty members who make outstanding contributions and maintainexcellence in the teaching program of the UGA College ofAgricultural and Environmental Sciences.In 1983, the awards were expanded to include research,extension and county extension programs. An award forinternational agriculture was added in 1988. Each awardincludes a framed certificate and a $5,000 cash award.The lecture is named for the late D.W. Brooks, founder of GoldKist, Inc. Brooks started Cotton States Mutual InsuranceCompanies in 1941. He advised seven U.S. presidents on farm andtrade issues. Among his many honors, he was the first inducteeinto the UGA Agricultural Hall of Fame. The annual D.W. Brooks Awards are given in memory of the late founder of Gold Kist and Cotton States Insurance. File Photo
University of Georgia horticulturist David Knauft will be among the organic agriculture experts presenting at the 2016 Georgia Organics Conference set for Feb. 26-27 in Columbus, Georgia.Knauft will present a workshop on edible landscapes on Saturday, the second day of the event. He will teach attendees how to improve the quality of their soil, select the best varieties, the pros and cons of direct seeding and transplanting, and how to manage diseases, insects and weeds.To be held in the Columbus Georgia Convention and Trade Center, this year’s Grits and Vigor – Georgia Organics conference will focus on the resilience of plants and soil under the care of sustainable farming practices in human communities. The two-day annual conference is one of the largest sustainable agriculture expos in the South. More than 1,000 farmers, gardeners, health advocates and organic food lovers are expected to attend the annual conference. The conference includes seven farm tours, eight in-depth workshops, 36 educational sessions, a trade expo and a keynote address.Friday, the first day of the conference, includes a choice of several farm tours in Georgia and Alabama as well as in-depth workshops. Saturday will feature additional workshops, divided into eight tracks of interest: farmer resources, in the field, taking care of business, livestock, farm-to-school tools, homegrown, recipes for resilience and community vigor. The expo, held both days, will include a host of exhibitors and seed swapping. Attendees are encouraged to bring seeds in envelopes to participate in the seed swap.Keynote speaker Joan Gussow, who pioneered the “eat local, think global” approach to sustainable food systems, will address conference attendees on Saturday evening. An environmentalist, professor, food policy expert and gardener, Gussow is the co-author or editor of five books, including This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader.Former chair of the Columbia University Teachers College, Nutrition Education Program, she lives, writes and grows organic vegetables on the west bank of the Hudson River. Gussow will talk about resilience in the soil and the good food movement.The conference’s famous Farmers Feast, featuring local organically produced food, will follow Gussow’s talk on Saturday night. The Land Stewardship Award and the Barbara Petit Pollinator Award will also be presented Saturday night. The Land Stewardship Award is given to a farmer, agricultural professional or researcher who has demonstrated a commitment to the tenets of organic agriculture and the larger community through leadership, education and outreach. Last year’s winner was UGA Cooperative Extension specialist Julia Gaskin, who coordinates and develops sustainable agriculture programs and workshops on topics such as local foods, farm to school, small-farm food safety, grass-fed ruminants, direct marketing of livestock products, soil quality and conservation tillage systems. The pollinator award acknowledges exceptional success in advancing Georgia Organics’ mission throughout community life, such as the food industry, faith communities, public agencies, schools and institutions. The award is named in memory of Barbara Petit, who was president of Georgia Organics from 2003-2009. Petit passed away in October of 2015, and this year’s conference is dedicated to her memory. Conference workshops and sessions will also be presented by experts from Auburn University, Fort Valley State University, the Georgia Department of Agriculture, the Georgia-Alabama Land Trust, the Georgia Farmers Market Association, Georgia Organics, North Carolina State University, Oxford College of Emory University, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and numerous organic farmers, chefs and businesses. For more on the conference and how to register, go to www.conference.georgiaorganics.org.
EarthTalk®E – The Environmental MagazineDear EarthTalk: What exactly is the federal government’s Recreational Trails Program and is it true that it’s on the chopping block? — Randy Caldwell, Lyme, NHThe Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is a federal assistance program that helps states pay for the development and maintenance of recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail uses. The Congressionally mandated program was in jeopardy due to budget cuts, but its backers in Congress announced this past July that RTP would be retained to the tune of $85 million per year as part of the new surface transportation agreement law called MAP-21. Minnesota Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar was instrumental in the retention of RTP by introducing it as an amendment to MAP-21 as a stand-alone program with its own dedicated funding.Overall, MAP-21 allocates $105 billion for fiscal years 2013 and 2014 to improve safety, reduce traffic congestion, maintain infrastructure and improve the overall efficiency of highway transportation. RTP is one of several provisions of MAP-21 that bolster transit, bike and pedestrian programs across the country.Funding for the RTP portion of MAP-21 comes from a portion of the motor fuel excise tax collected across the country from non-highway recreational fuel use in snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles and off-highway light trucks, and comes out of the Federal Highway Trust Fund. Half of the RTP funds are distributed equally among all 50 states, and half are distributed in proportion to the estimated amount of non-highway recreational fuel use in each state. Individual states are responsible for administering their own RTP monies and soliciting and selecting qualifying projects.That said, the use of RTP funding is restricted to maintenance and restoration of existing trails, development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages, purchase and lease of trail construction and maintenance equipment, construction of new trails, acquisition of easements or property for trails, and assessment of trail conditions for accessibility and maintenance. RTP funding may not go toward property condemnation (eminent domain), construction of new trails for motorized use on federally managed public lands or for facilitating motorized access on otherwise non-motorized trails.States must allocate 30 percent of their RTP funding for motorized trail use, 30 percent for non-motorized use, and the remaining 40 percent for so-called “diverse” (motorized and non-motorized) trail use. Projects may satisfy two categories at the same time, giving states some flexibility in how to allocate their share of the RTP pie. States can use up to five percent of their funds to disseminate related publications and operate educational programs to promote safety and environmental protection related to trails.Trail lovers across the country are thrilled that Congress extended RTP, which began in 2005 with a $60 million allocation and was increased each of the following years until it plateaued at $85 million in 2009. The continuation of the $85 million allocation was also good news to those who feared that if it wasn’t cut entirely it would be scaled back significantly. With new funding for the next two years, Americans can look forward to the creation of many new trails and continued maintenance of existing ones.CONTACTS: RTP info, www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/index.cfm; American Trails overview of RTP funding, www.americantrails.org/rtp.EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine ( www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: [email protected] Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.
By Yolima Dussán/Diálogo December 18, 2020 On November 16, 2020, a 16-year criminal career came to an end for Emiliano Alcides Osorio, alias Caín, top leader of Los Caparros criminal group. Colombian authorities neutralized him after a confrontation in the town of La Unión, Tarazá municipality, Antioquia. The Colombian government was offering a $130,000 reward for information leading to his whereabouts.“Alias Caín was wanted for the crimes of narcotrafficking, aggravated conspiracy to commit a crime, homicide, trafficking, carrying and possession of firearms, forced displacement, and illegal extraction of minerals in lower Cauca, Antioquia,” Colombian Minister of Defense Carlos Holmes Trujillo told the press on November 17.Also known as Pilatos, Holmes noted, Caín was accused of murdering social leaders and extorting businesses and transportation companies in Antioquia department, in addition to forcefully displacing residents in the region.An intelligence officer who took part in the operation told the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo on November 17 that “[he] earned his alias, Caín, for murdering several first-degree family members.” With this capture, the officer said, one of the country’s most dangerous criminals is off the map. “He used torture and dismemberment as a method for criminal coercion,” El Tiempo reported.On November 17, Army General Juan Carlos Ramírez Trujillo, commander of the Colombian Army Seventh Division, told the media that operations against Los Caparros in 2020 have been significant. “We have captured 117 of its members, 20 bandits have been brought to justice, and 10 have died in military operations,” Gen. Ramírez said.
NZ Herald 15 April 2014The Ashcrofts were the first New Zealand couple to take advantage of commercial surrogacy laws in India, which is only one of a handful of countries that allow surrogates to be paid. As a result of the 2002 law, lower costs, increasing medical infrastructure and the availability of surrogates, the country has emerged as a hotspot for this type of fertility tourism. International surrogacy, also legal in the United States, Thailand, the Ukraine and at least one state in Mexico, is a growing trend for couples and singles, both gay and straight, seeking ways to overcome the hurdles biological, technological, financial, and legal of having children. The subject was the hot topic at the fifth Congress of the Asia Pacific Initiative on Reproduction (ASPIRE Conference) in Brisbane this month. Closer to home members of the Law Society heard presentations from fertility specialists on the issue last week. Fertility Associates group operations manager Dr John Peek says New Zealand had always aligned itself ethically with European standards but with the amount of reproductive technology exploding in Asia it could no longer be ignored. “There’s going to be a lot more reproductive tourism in this part of the world,” Dr Peek says.Using a surrogateSurrogacy is where a woman, who cannot carry a baby, uses another woman to bear the child. An embryo, created using IVF, is transferred to the surrogate. Commercial surrogacy, where women are paid to carry and deliver someone else’s baby, is only available in a handful of countries including the US, Thailand and India. Surrogacy is available in NZ but the time and cost to gain ethics committee approval, and the limited number of surrogates, mean some parents choose to pay an overseas surrogate. India has become a hot spot for this type of fertility tourism, thought to generate the country $400 million a year. About 3000 clinics offer surrogacy services and 2000 foreign babies are born annually in India to surrogates. Five couples from New Zealand have pursued surrogacy in India, four with success while the other is still at the IVF treatment stage. The costs, in the tens of thousands of dollars, vary considerably but India and Thailand are cheaper than the US. In 2011-2012, there were eight applications for surrogacy in New Zealand, seven of which were approved. Between 2005 and 2011, surrogacy applications approved by NZ’s ethics committee resulted in 33 births.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11238149The baby makers: Critics push for regulation of India’s booming surrogacy industryABC News 15 April 2014The calls come as increasing numbers of foreigners, including many Australians, pay thousands of dollars to Indian surrogacy centres to fulfil their need to have children.The industry has been criticised for operating in a regulatory vacuum, and while there are some rules for people who take the journey to India, it is still a minefield for many unsuspecting parents.Author and critic Kishwar Desai has strong reservations about the lack of legal oversight and what it means for the women who rent out their wombs.“We’re treating these women like animals, like you would do with cattle … so I think that is something we need to be very careful about,” she said.“It’s not the numbers of the women who die – and indeed we may not even know about them because a lot of the clinics are operating without any regulation, without any rules, without any scrutinies – we may not even hear about them. The women may be allowed to just go home and die there.”http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-15/babymakers-critics-push-for-regulation-india-surrogacy/5389678