Public urged to ensure they get qualified dietary advice

first_img 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic Google+ By News Highland – August 27, 2013 Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry WhatsApp WhatsApp  Members of the public are being warned to be aware of unqualified people giving out dietary advice.The Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institution says many people call themselves ‘nutritional experts’ but the advice they give needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.You can find a qualified dietician by contacting your GP or searching online at indi.ieINDI President Richelle Flanagan outlines what a reputable expert will tell you.”Well a good nutritional expert will make sure that they do a proper review of your medical, dietary and lifestyle, and know what medications you are on – and then give you the appropriate advice based on all that information” she said.”They certainly won’t tell you to cut out food groups on the very first visit with them; also….dieticians don’t sell supplements” she added. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th center_img Public urged to ensure they get qualified dietary advice Pinterest Previous articleHighland’s Rugby Season PreviewNext articleBAI launches public consultation on Irish broadcasting News Highland Twitter Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire News Pinterest Twitter Google+ Facebooklast_img read more

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2002 Vermont SBA Small Business Person of the Year

first_imgVermont Business Magazine presents the 2002 Vermont SBA Small Business Person of the Year Awards to be held Wednesday, June 12, 2002, from 4:00pm to 7:00pm on the Green at Vermont College of Union Institute & University in Montpelier. The Vermont District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration announced the winner of the Small Business Person Award and various Advocacy Awards.The SMALL BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR winner is: Clint “Jito” Coleman, President Northern Power Systems, Waitsfield, VT.A volunteer committee of small business professionals have contributed to the management of the event They are: John Boutin, Publisher, Vermont Business Magazine Sybil Chicoine, Director, Coordinated State Marketing, State of Vermont Mary Collins, Special Projects Coordinator & Web Marketing Development, Vermont Business Magazine Paula Cope, President, Cope & Associates, Inc. Albert Hall III, Economic Development Specialist, Vermont District Office U.S. SBA Cathy Herlihy, District Manager, Vermont Small Business Development Center Norman James, Vice President of Programs, Vermont State Chamber of Commerce Paul Lapotosky, General Manager, Farrell Distributing Corporation Cindy Morgan, Marketing Director, New England Federal Credit Union Cathy Printon, Dean of Students, Goddard College.The Vermont SBA honors individuals and small businesses with the Small Business Person of the Year Award, Entrepreneurial Success, Young Entrepreneur, Home-Based Business, Small Business Exporter, Small Business Journalist and various advocacy awards including Accountant, Financial Services, Minority Small Business, Veteran and Women in Business Advocate.Previous Vermont SBA winners include Susan Dollenmaier of Anichini, Inc.; Edward Kiniry, Tubbs Snowshoe Company; and David Allard, Lyndon Furniture. National winners from Vermont include R. William Hazelett, Hazelett Strip-Casting Corp., National Small Business Exporter of the Year, 2001, and Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield, Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc., National Small Business Persons of the Year, 1988.For information about the SBA Small Business Person of the Year Award, contact Al Hall, Economic Development Specialist, Vermont District Office, U.S. Small Business Administration at 802.828.4422, ext. 207. For information about sponsoring and participating in the June 2002, awards event, contact Mary Collins, Special Projects Coordinator at Vermont Business Magazine at 802.863.8038.last_img read more

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Vermont Yankee provides update on tritium

first_imgLast Friday, October 8, Vermont Yankee announced that a water sample from rock fissures beneath the plant tested positive for tritium at an amount of 1,040 picocuries per liter.  A statement issued by a representative of the Vernon nuclear power plant said that this amount of tritium is significantly below the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s required level to report tritium findings (which is 30,000 picocuries per liter) and significantly below the US Environmental Protection Agency’s standard for permissible levels of tritium in drinking water (20,000 picocuries per liter). The rock fissures from which the sample was taken fed a former industrial drinking water well that previously served the plant’s Construction Office Building, known as the COB well.  This well was retired earlier this year (March) as a conservative precaution shortly after the tritium leak from the plant was discovered.This water sample test result does not indicate any new leak of tritium from Vermont Yankee.Rather, this test result confirms the migration of tritiated water that was previously released from the leak in the advanced off gas (AOG) system pipe tunnel that was sealed and repaired earlier this year.Further, this test result does not indicate any threat to public health or safety because the sample was not taken from any active drinking water well, nor has tritium been detected in or near any current drinking water well.Vermont Yankee is implementing an industry-leading program to protect groundwater at the site. This program focuses on inspecting, monitoring and selectively replacing plant piping and other components to prevent leaks.  Also, additional monitoring wells are being installed to promptly detect any leaks should they occur.As noted, the Environmental Protection Agency’s limit for tritium in drinking water is 20,000 picocuries.  A picocurie is one trillionth of a curie.  To place these figures in context, there are at least 6 curies (or 6 trillion picocuries) of tritium in an average self-illuminated red “EXIT” sign at your local movie theater or school gym.Vermont Yankee believes this test result is consistent with previous findings, showing that there is no threat of contamination to drinking water sources AND the tritium remediation plan has been comprehensive and effective.Vermont Yankee’s tritium remediation project has continuously monitored drinking water wells on the VY site and at a number of locations in the area around the site and no tritium has been detected in any drinking water wells. The off site locations range from the Vernon elementary school, which is located just across the street from the plant to the water system of the town of Hinsdale, NH, located across the Connecticut River.As Vermont Yankee continues to finalize the remediation of tritium that the company first discovered and self-reported in January 2010, the company re-emphasizes today that it is committed to maintaining increased sampling frequencies for tritium and increased communications.  Both of these initiatives were part of a March 25 public commitment that the company made as part of its industry-leading groundwater protection initiative.Vermont Yankee has shared the results of the recent water sample test with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Vermont Department Health and will continue to cooperate with both organizations. Further, Vermont Yankee has continued to extract groundwater – a process that began several months ago — as part of its efforts to remediate the previous tritium leak from the AOG pipe tunnel.The shallow groundwater zone has been the main focus of Vermont Yankee’s groundwater efforts to date. This zone, which extends to 70 feet below the surface, includes soils of many different compositions. This is the level where shallow groundwater moves. The general flow at the Vermont Yankee site is west to east, away from drinking water supplies.This zone has been continuously monitored and tested since the first discovery of tritium in January of this year.The depth to bedrock varies locally across the region, but in this area of the Vermont Yankee site, the depth to bedrock is approximately 70 feet.  Groundwater flows through the bedrock via cracks and fissures.  This water also flows west to east. When a deep drinking water well is installed, it bisects these cracks, which allow water to supply the well casing and eventually be pumped to the end user. A total of 25 monitoring wells have been installed and seven more are currently being installed. These wells are used to track the direction and volume of the groundwater under the site and to measure the tritium content. As a result of the data gathered from these monitoring wells, a number of extraction wells have been drilled at the points of significant concentration. More than 267,000 gallons of tritiated water have been extracted from the groundwater and pumped into holding tanks on the site. As the higher tritium concentrations move eastward, consistent with the general hydrology of the site, new wells are drilled in the path of the flow and contaminated water is pumped out.There currently are two extraction wells in operation. Vermont Yankee is assessing the flow rates and tritium content of water being extracted and present in the monitoring wells to determine whether further mitigation is warrantedThe deep bedrock layer is the site of the current testing that has produced the relatively low-level sample of tritiated water that is the subject of recent media stories. By using the pre-existing COB well, Vermont Yankee technicians have been able to collect and test two water samples from fissures in the bedrock adjacent to the well. These samples were taken at 200 and 300 feet below the surface by a process called “Packer testing.”Packer testing consists of lowering a 20-foot long hollow steel tube into the well. The tube has bladders (packers) at the top and bottom, which can be inflated to seal a 20-foot section of the well. Existing water in the well is pumped out, and samples of water contained in fissures of the adjacent bedrock are then collected in the tube. The sample is then brought to the surface and samples are taken to be tested for tritium.In the case of these recent measurements at Vermont Yankee, the test at the 200-foot level required 48 hours of continuous extraction to collect the volume of water required for a representative sample. This site had been identified by a preliminary test in March as the site of a low-yielding fracture in the rock. It was this sample that contained a concentration of 1,040 picocuries of tritium per liter of water.The test performed at the 300-foot level encountered free-flowing water from the adjacent fissures. The sample was easily collected and no tritium was found.It also should be noted that other isotopes such as Strontium-90 and Cesium-137 have never been detected in groundwater samples taken at Vermont Yankee. This includes water samples taken from monitoring well GZ-10 which was installed in early February in the immediate vicinity of the advanced off gas (AOG) system pipe tunnel where the tritium leak occurred.Strontium-90 and Cesium-137 and other isotopes were identified in limited quantities in soils directly adjacent to the leak for the AOG pipe tunnel.  Soil in the area of the leak has been removed and is being stored in shipping containers on-site waiting for disposal at a licensed off-site waste facility. Empirical data gathered to date supports the conclusion that Strontium-90 and Cesium-137 and other radionuclides, unlike tritium, which is very similar in molecular structure to water, are not transported across the site by groundwater.Source: Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee. Vernon, VT/October 11, 2010last_img read more

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Full Suspensions and Fly Rods: Bikefishing in the Blue Ridge

first_imgThe Pisgah National Forest sprawls across some 500,000 acres of Western North Carolina woods and waters, and it’s especially renowned for two activities: mountain biking and fly fishing. The singletrack that criss crosses this temperate rainforest beckons mountain bikers from all over the country, and some from beyond its borders, and its trout streams have long been etched in the annals of America’s fly fishing folklore. So in my mind, it stood to reason that a multi-day adventure combining the two pursuits would be nothing short of pure Pisgah gold.When my budding idea for a “bikefishing” excursion that would incorporate both Pisgah’s famed trout streams and its world-renowned single track began to take shape, I was told there was one person that I needed to talk to. Enter fly fishing guide and guru Aaron Motley of Hunter Banks Fly Fishing in Asheville and Waynesville, N.C.A Clemson, S.C. native and an exceptional mountain biker, Motley was one of the first members of the now highly-accomplished Brevard College Mountain Biking Team. He routinely uses his hardtail to gain access to wilder and more remote stretches of water that would otherwise require miles of arduous hiking. When we began plotting our adventure, he immediately recommended Pisgah’s South Mills River.Thanks to some helpful consultation with Steve Yocom, the photographer who would eventually join us on the trip, and Blue Ridge Outdoors Digital Publisher/walking Pisgah map Dusty Allison, the South Mills was already on my short list of go-to bikefishing destinations. But Aaron’s exuberance and his encyclopedic knowledge of the South Mills drainage—helped along by a few photos of sizable wild trout he’d netted on a previous trip to the area—completely sealed the deal.The South MillsThe South Mills River area encompasses approximately 17,120 acres of the Pisgah National Forest— 8,629 of which are considered roadless acres.It is bordered by the spine of the Blue Ridge Mountains on its northern end and the South Mills drainage basin to the south, while the congressionally-designated Cradle of Forestry forms its western boundary.Once a part of railroad heir George Vanderbilt’s expansive private forest, which shared a name with his now world famous Asheville estate, this portion of Pisgah played a pivotal role in the early forest management and conservation legacy of the United States.In the late 1800s, Vanderbilt hired a young forester named Gifford Pinchot to manage the vast and growing woodland holdings on his enormous Biltmore Estate. Though Pinchot would only serve a brief tenure at Biltmore before taking a job in Washington, D.C. as the first chief of Teddy Roosevelt’s newly established United States Forest Service, his time there laid the groundwork for the nation’s first forestry school. The remnants of this school, which was deconstructed and moved to the nearby Cradle of Forestry in the 1970s, can still be seen along the banks of Cantrell Creek in the South Mills area. In 1988, the state of North Carolina awarded the South Mills an Outstanding Resource Waters designation, and by 1990 Congress had listed it as a National Wild and Scenic Study River. In ‘96, the USFS followed suit, determining that several sections of the river are indeed worthy of full-on Wild and Scenic classification. If that level of protection ever comes to fruition, the South Mills will become North Carolina’s longest wild river.The AdventureOn the morning of the trip, I met Aaron at an Ingles parking lot in the speed trap town of Mills River, N.C. to procure essential provisions: trail mix, local craft beer, and vacuum-sealed salmon.Then our talk turned to the weather. Rain, it seemed, was all but certain in the forecast. Such conditions come with the territory in the section of Pisgah we were headed for, which routinely receives as much as ninety inches of annual rainfall. The forecast did little to dampen our excitement.We secured our bikes—full suspension Specialized outfits provided by Motion Makers Bicycle Shop in Asheville—and began our caravan toward the South Mills River Recreation Area.We arrived at the trailhead at the Wolf Ford Gauging Station just off of Forest Service Road 476, and we began loading our bikes with camping equipment and fly fishing gear.When fishing the South Mills, Aaron relied heavily on a traditional Japanese fishing method known as tenkara. First popularized in the United States by Daniel Galhardo, who founded Tenkara USA and is an avid bikefisher in his own right, the tenkara style is tailor made for the trout streams of Southern Appalachia. It puts the focus on simplicity by taking the reel completely out of the fly fishing equation and allows for easier casting on tight-quartered, rhodo-choked streams.Once the tenkara rods were securely strapped to Aaron’s pack, we hit the trail and begin following the course of the clear-flowing, rhododendron cloaked South Mills.“Biking is the only way I go back in here,” Aaron tells me as we negotiate typical Pisgah singletrack, complete with rock ledges and downed logs. “It’s the perfect combination of two of my favorite adventures, and it affords me access to spots that other anglers seldom take the time to reach.”About three miles in, we arrived at a suspension bridge where the South Mills River Trail meets Squirrel Gap. It looked like a tantalizing place to wet a line, but our attention was diverted by the late arrival of our cohort, BRO digital publisher Dusty Allison. From the other side of the bridge, Dusty was wheeling up with a riding partner he found somewhere along the way.As fate would have it, that riding partner turned out to be the bass player for the Infamous Stringdusters, Travis Book. Unlike the rest of his bandmates, who call the state of Colorado home, Travis lives in the nearby town of Brevard, North Carolina, and aside from being a heralded musician, he’s known around those parts as one hell of a mountain biker.We chatted for awhile with Travis, who had just come off a road stint and a show at Red Rocks with Ryan Adams. Then he pointed his bike in the direction of Squirrel Gap and took off on what Strava would later tell me was a thirty-plus mile ride. Slightly star-struck, we pedaled onward in the opposite direction, where dog-hobble undergrowth, multiple river crossings and—we hoped—copious wild trout would await.Read on![nextpage title=”Read on!”]Finding Copperas RockAfter a strenuous six-mile ride made even more difficult by heavy packs and a healthy dose of skin-shredding doghobble, we finally arrive at our intended destination— Copperas Rock.This imposing rock feature soared high above the west side side of the South Mills to the tune of some seventy feet while a plentiful population of wild trout danced in the gin-clear pools below.Dusty was the first of our group to wet a line. Like Aaron, he’s a devotee of the trustee tenkara method, but since his rod had been compromised by an overhanging limb during the grueling ride in, Aaron set him up with his 12-foot IWANA rod from Tenkara USA, complete with the deadly combination of a size 12 Parachute Adams and Frenchie nymph dropper.Within a matter of minutes, Dusty had hooked the first wild Brown Trout of the trip. The trout, which sported colors more vibrant than those I’d seen on more familiar delayed harvest haunts, was ultimately enticed by the Frenchie, attacking it with a type of aggression unique to brown trout living in remote, wild places. Dusty’s fish set the tone for another 24 hours of stellar fly fishing, top notch mountain biking, and priceless camaraderie in one of North Carolina’s finest national forests.Looking to organize a bikefishing excursion of your own? Consider one or more of these ideal destinations. VirginiaWhitetop Laurel Creek (accessed VIA the Virginia Creeper Trail)If you’re looking for a more moderate bikefishing adventure, you’d be hard pressed to find a better destination than Whitetop Laurel Creek via the Virginia Creeper Trail. Stretching for 34 miles through the heart of Southwest Virginia, just outside the Appalachian Trail town of Damascus, the Virginia Creeper Trail has long been famous among bikers, but it also offers quick and easy access to Whitetop Laurel, one of Virginia’s best trout streams.West VirginiaNew River GorgeThe New River Gorge National River is home to some of the best fly fishing East of the Rockies, and the trail systems found along its banks offer unrivaled opportunity for bike-in angling. Try the Glade Creek Trail, which provides streamside access to 5.6 miles of the popular Glade Creek trout stream. For more info visit nps.gov/neriNorth CarolinaGreat Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina side)Typically, mountain biking is not an option within the boundaries of a national park, but the Deep Creek area on the North Carolina side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a rare exception. Both Deep Creek and Indian Creek are accessible by way of moderate, stream-side trails where mountain biking is permitted. Set up a base camp at the Deep Creek Camping Area and enjoy these two pristine Smoky Mountain streams in conjunction with a mellow mountain biking journey. For more info visit greatsmokies.com/deepcreekNorth Mills River AreaLike its South Mills counterpart, the North Mills River Recreation Area of Pisgah National Forest offers ample bikefishing opportunities. Set up a base camp at the Mills River campground before setting off to explore the North Mills and its multiple tributaries such as Big Creek, Middle Fork, Fletcher Creek, and Spencer Branch.GeorgiaMountaintown CreekAccording to Andrew Gates of the Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Getaway in Ellijay, there are few trails in the area that combine biking and fishing better than the Mountaintown Creek Trail. “Mountaintown Creek trail is a must do for fly fishing as well as biking,” Gates says. “It is one of the most remote and beautiful trails in our area, and it has a thriving population of native trout.”last_img read more

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Trail Mix – July 2018

first_img 2:33 4:13 If I Were A Carpenter Jonathan Edwards 4:47 Anxious Annie 10 String Symphony Kyrie Eleison Love Canon 3:50 Rough and Ready Heart Blue Yonder Country Tunes and Love Songs Hot Buttered Rum Everybody The Sea The Sea Are You Electrified? Arthur Buck 3:28 3:08 3:37 4:29 3:42 Lonely Without You Carolina Story Audio PlayerArthur BuckAre You Electrified?Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.00:000:00 / 5:11 3:55 Children of Paradise Willie Nile 4:38 Ring The Bells JOHNNYSWIM and Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors Circus Of Life Kinky Friedman Lucky Ones Israel Nash 4:31 5:11 Jonny Todd The Skiffle Players The foundation for Arthur Buck was laid years ago. Brooklyn based singer/songwriter Joseph Arthur was a frequent opener for R.E.M. in the early 2000s, while Peter Buck – long time R.E.M. guitar player –  had regularly played with Arthur in various configurations.In 2017, the pair found themselves together in Mexico and songwriting magic ensued.  Eight songs were written in three days during sessions where, seemingly, there were no expectations and songs developed as they pleased. The end result was the duo’s eponymous debut record, which released in mid-June.Tour dates for Arthur Buck are in the works. In the meantime, check out “Are You Electrified?” right here.Lots of old friends return to this month’s mix. Check out brand new tracks from Israel Nash, Kinky Friedman, 10 String Symphony, Love Canon, The Sea The Sea, Willie Nile, and Hot Buttered Rum.Also check out the new tunes from Band of Heathens, Byron Issacs, Brother Dege, The Skiffle Players, Cliff Westfall, Love Honey, Balloon Ride Fantasy, Clay Parker & Jodi James, Rough & Ready, Peter Holsapple, and Carolina Story.And stay tuned to the Trail Mix blog. We’ll be going on the road with Drew Holcomb, hearing from friends and fans about The Seldom Scene’s long time mandolin player John Duffey, and catching up with up and coming band Oliver The Crow.Normally, I’d be recommending you take this month’s Trail Mix on your next outdoor adventure . . . but it is scorching on the East Coast right now! So maybe grab your favorite beverage, find a shady spot or take an evening stroll, when it’s just a bit cooler, and dig in. Enjoy the tunes and get out there and buy a  few records from these artists. They’d appreciate it. Game Day Peter Holsapple 3:14 Arcadia Balloon Ride Fantasy Country Come to Town Brother Dege Down To The Garden Clay Parker And Jodi James 3:50 Embed Open Door Lovehoney Losing You Byron Isaacs 3:33 3:34 2:03 Copy and paste this code to your site to embed. 3:08 America the Beautiful The Band of Heathens 3:33 2:45 3:26 Ashes of a Day Gone By Oliver the Crow More And More Cliff Westfall last_img read more

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Reward Yourself with a Bath County Adventure

first_imgAfter you have cleaned off the dirt and sweat from a full day of adventure, it’s time for the reward we mentioned earlier. Start with a cold craft beer. Bacova Beer in Hot Springs is a favorite gathering spot for locals and visitors. If beer is not for you, check out Bath County’s new winery, Rock Roadhouse Winery, or the county’s very own cidery, Troddenvale at Oakley Farm. Both offer tastings by appointment. A day of adventure on the trails, lakes and rivers will certainly build up a healthy appetite. It’s time to refuel for tomorrow’s activities. Fantastic food is as much a part of the Bath County experience as the scenic views. Dining options range from pizza, sandwiches and country style, all the way to gourmet. The vibrant agricultural community gives creative chefs the opportunity to offer exquisite farm-to-table dishes. All around the county, several unique restaurants are developing a loyal following that is making Bath County a hot destination for foodies. Two lakes, two rivers and a variety of smaller streams around the county provide opportunities for paddling, boating and world-class fishing. The shoreline of Lake Moomaw is mostly undeveloped, which means miles of beautiful scenery and quiet coves in which to cast a fishing line. Sailboats, jet skis and motorized boats are allowed on Lake Moomaw. Meanwhile, Douthat Lake within the state park is smaller so motorized boats are not allowed, but canoes and kayaks can paddle out for fishing or exploring. Anglers leave Bath County with more than fish — they take home plenty of tales to tell all their friends back home. If you really want to elevate your fishing experience, consider a day with a professional guide who can take you to where the big fish are biting. If you have always wanted to learn to fly fish, this is your chance. If your idea of the perfect outdoor adventure-themed getaway includes a variety activities during the day followed by a well-earned reward, you have got to experience Bath County, Virginia.center_img You might visit Bath County for the great outdoor recreation and fall in love with the food. Then again, you may choose Bath County for its awesome restaurants and fill your days with outdoor fun. Either way, we won’t judge you. All are welcome for the full “Made in Bath County Experience.” Over 85% of the county is forested. A full 51% is National Forest with another 6% State Park. That means lots of room for fun and adventure. Douthat State Park alone has 43 miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking. More trails can be found around Lake Moomaw, at Hidden Valley Recreation Area, and elsewhere around the county. There are challenging trails and family-friendly trails. There are trails that offer payoffs like waterfalls, scenic vistas or wildlife viewing. You can hike or ride all day long, then get up and do it all over again the next day. last_img read more

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Panama’s Darien Teems With FARC Drug Runners

first_imgBy Dialogo May 28, 2010 Drug-running Colombian rebels are using the dense, lawless jungle joining North and South America to smuggle cocaine past sea patrols, creating a new troublespot in the continent’s drug war. Squeezed in the Caribbean and the Pacific by Panamanian and U.S. patrols that regularly seize loads of the drug, traffickers now zigzag through Panama’s Darien province, which joins the isthmus nation with Colombia, Panama’s government says. Forcing local indigenous people to act as guides and mules, they haul packs of the white powder along Darien’s rivers and hike through swampy, mountainous rainforest to the Panamanian end of the Pan-American highway, whose path through the Americas is broken only by the 50-mile (80-km) Darien gap. “Our young men are forced by these drug traffickers to act as guides along the trails,” said tribal leader Betanio Chiquidama, who represents Embera and Wounaan peoples living in Darien. “They say: ‘You die, or you take us’,” he said, adding that FARC smugglers recruit some youths with cash. Without a standing army since a U.S. invasion overthrew dictator Manuel Noriega in 1989, Panama has little control over its porous border with Colombia. U.S. anti-drug officials say the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which has been smuggling cocaine to the United States for two decades, has turned to coastal overland routes as increased sea and air interdiction cuts off traditional routes northward. Traffickers sometimes shuttle cocaine inland from drop-off points on the coast and store it for weeks at a time before moving it on, normally by boat from the same shoreline. “It’s a perfect place if you are going to smuggle narcotics such as the FARC is doing,” said Alex Posey, an analyst at U.S. security consultancy Stratfor. “It’s swampy, it’s nasty, nobody really lives out there.” Just a few thousand police patrol Panama’s humid, inhospitable border with Colombia. The Central American nation has long tolerated incursions by FARC rebels who cross over to stock up on supplies and escape Colombian security forces. But, backed by the United States and increasingly worried about drug trafficking, Panamanian police are showing themselves more willing to take on the FARC in the Darien in a fight that could worsen an already precarious security situation. Panamanian border police shot and killed three suspected FARC rebels in January. A month later, coast guardsmen fought gun battles with suspected traffickers near port towns close to the Colombian border. *OUTGUNNED* As part of the new strategy, police now routinely choke FARC supply lines by limiting food shipments to the small communities that line the rivers leading to Colombia. Panama’s Congress has designated $10 million to better arm border police. “The funds requested and granted are directed to responding with armed forces at borders,” said Marco Gonzalez, a lawmaker with Martinelli’s Democratic Change party. But there is little indication yet that Panama can push the FARC back into Colombia or curb the movement of cocaine, and the threat of violence that comes with it. “We don’t have the firepower to maintain a confrontation,” said Severino Mejia, a security expert at the University of Panama. “The situation is going to deteriorate if the police mission is going to be dedicated to combat patrols.” Besides limiting food shipments, police have restricted travel, taking over river towns and forcing locals to stay in their villages during spates of violence. “They are not letting us out to fish, hunt or get bananas, nothing,” said Darien resident Wilbert Bailarin, 20. He said police-provided food rations did not make up for a clampdown on free movement and river trade. Villagers say they live in constant fear that gunmen will emerge from the forest to raid food crops and other supplies and assault women. Mothers worry their sons will be lured away from traditional livelihoods to work for drug traffickers.last_img read more

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Why the world will NOT end when EMV chargeback liability shifts

first_imgWe are just one month away from the EMV chargeback liability shift, and many card issuing banks and credit unions are rushing to get the new chip technology in the hands of consumers.  Retailers in the US are growing nervous about upgrading their POS terminals. Consumers are annoyed by all the new credit cards they’re receiving in the mail, and confused about what to do with the chip cards when they finally find themselves at an EMV-capable machine. Retail clerks are learning how to run checkouts using the new chip cards, finding themselves in the unwanted position of educating irritated consumers.  Despite all these hiccups in the adoption of EMV technology and the hype surrounding its rollout, I have news for you: much like the hype leading up to Y2K, the world will NOT end in October.First, at the beginning of 2015, less than a third of credit cards were chip-enabled, and even fewer debit cards carried the chip. By the end of 2015, it’s estimated that 70% of credit cards will be chip-enabled. That’s an impressive projected jump, but debit cards are estimated to still be lagging at only 40%. So while great strides are being made to upgrade US cards, not everyone will have EMV cards by October as some news reports would have you believe.Second, according to CNBC, only slightly over 40% of US retailers have even committed to EMV. In the end, it’s these merchants who have the biggest exposure to risk by not adopting EMV, since chargeback liability will now be on their shoulders should they resist the move.  So why not a bigger push to upgrade terminals ASAP?  Because retailers aren’t falling for all the hype.  Many have realized that they’re not at risk, or are at very little risk of chargebacks, and have elected not to upgrade at this time. continue reading » 26SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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McWatters: Credit unions have until next April 1 to comply with prepaids rule

first_img continue reading » NCUA Acting Chairman J. Mark McWatters told federally-insured credit unions in a letter this week that compliance with the CFPB’s prepaid accounts rule will begin on April 1, 2018, in light of the bureau’s recent delay of the rule’s effective compliance date.McWatters, in NCUA Letter to Credit Unions 17-CU-03, said institutions that issue prepaid financial products covered under the rule must still submit prepaid account agreements to the CFPB beginning Oct. 1, 2018.The CFPB last week finalized its proposed six-month delay for its prepaid rule.The prepaid rule creates a host of new requirements for prepaid accounts under Regulations E and Z. The rule was finalized in October 2016, originally leaving credit unions only a year to prepare. NAFCU had urged the bureau to both rescind the rule and reevaluate its economic impact on small financial institutions; or to delay the rule 18 months instead of six. 15SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Two Dead, One Injured in TX Church Shooting

first_imgTwo people are confirmed dead and another has been injured, in a shooting at a church in Fort Worth, Texas.The shooting occurred at about 11:30 a.m. at the West Freeway Church.One person was pronounced dead at the scene, while the second victim succumbed to their injuries en route to the hospital.Authorities believe the shooter is dead.This is a developing story.last_img

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