View Comments Muggles, are you ready? The hotly anticipated Harry Potter play, which will be staged in two parts in the West End, is now officially described as follows: “the eighth story. Nineteen years later.” Harry Potter and The Cursed Child’s first installment will begin previews on June 7, 2016. The official opening day, where both parts will be performed, is scheduled for July 30 at the Palace Theatre.The world premiere will be based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Penned by Thorne and directed by Tony winner Tiffany (Once), the production’s plot description reads: “It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.”The seven-volume Harry Potter series has sold more than 450 million copies and been translated into 77 languages. The books were adapted into eight movies starring Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winners Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter and Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley, along with Emma Watson as Hermione Granger. Casting for the West End production’s company of more than 30 will be announced later.Currently home to The Commitments, which will close on November 1, the Palace Theatre usually plays host to musicals, but we somehow have a feeling that they’ll have no problem selling tickets.We also sense that this has “Broadway transfer” written all over it.
Bankruptcy judge approves sale of hydro plant to RockinghamOfficials in Rockingham hope that a $72.4 million purchase of the hydro electric facility on the Connecticut River in Bellows Falls will lower electric rates to the community. A US Bankruptcy Court judge has approved the sale from USGen New England. The deal must be completed by December 1, although the actual closing probably would not occur until October 2005. If the town failed to finalize financing by December 1, the town would forfeit its right to take the dam by eminent domain for 10 years.Rockingham first proposed buying the 48-megawatt facility four years ago when USGen, then a subsidiary of Pacific Gas & Electric, started contesting its tax bill.
The 18th Annual Green River Narrows Race is this Saturday, November 2nd in Saluda, North Carolina. There will be a participant meeting at the Green River Access Parking Lot at 10:30am with the actual event starting at high noon.While the race is free, they do ask that you put down a $20 refundable deposit. This is to off-set the cost of the bibs. If it gets damaged, wet, or lost, no worries. They can replace it. But rest assured, you will get reimbursed at the Green Race after party when turning your bib back in. You MUST be registered by 5pm on Thursday, October 31st. No day-of sign ups for this one, folks, and you may want to read pro paddler Chris Gragtman’s take on the current status of the race before putting your name in the hat.If you’re not up for paddling but still want to be part of the race, please consider volunteering. You can email the coordinators and they will happily find a job for you to do!Like any good race, there will be an after party from 6:00pm until 11:00pm on the newly finished deck at Thomas Store Wards Grill in downtown Saluda. Join fellow racers, friends, and family for live music, food, and beer. There will also be a highlight reel from the 2013 race.View Larger Map
Nearly a ton of cocaine bound for the US market was seized in Peru, counternarcotics officials said, announcing the arrest of a Colombian and six Peruvians. “This is a hard blow for drug trafficking because it involved a single mafia led by a Colombian trafficker who goes by the name ‘Bellota,’” Peruvian police chief Victor Torres told reporters. In a first operation, police and army seized 1,190 lbs of drugs on October 7 in the central province of Satipo, where the seven suspects were arrested. Authorities confiscated 915 lbs of cocaine chlorhydrate (crystal form) during a second operation five days later, and dismantled two drug labs. Police say the merchandise had been due to transit through Mexico before reaching the United States, the world’s top consumer of cocaine. Over the past year, Peruvian police have arrested at least 12 Colombian citizens seeking to ship cocaine to Europe. The Apurimac and Ene River Valley is the biggest cocaine-producing region in the country, where authorities say drug traffickers allied with former members of the leftist Shining Path guerrilla operate. Peru is among the world’s biggest producers of cocaine, with production estimated at 330 tons, a little less than Colombia’s 350 tons. Coca cultivation in Peru grew for the fifth consecutive year in 2010 to cover 151,230 acres, compared to 153,200 acres planted in Colombia, according to UN figures. By Dialogo October 17, 2011
By Dialogo July 10, 2012 Honduran Military personnel seized more than 1,000 kilos of cocaine on July 6, on the Cruta River in the Mosquitia region (in eastern Honduras), on three vessels the crews of which escaped, the head of the Armed Forces General Staff, General René Osorio, announced. Osorio told local media that in the course of what is known as Operation Martillo, which is being conducted exclusively by Honduran Military personnel in the department of Gracias a Dios, drug traffickers “abandoned three boats, one with three motors and two with two,” in the Cruta River. “Shots were exchanged,” but the unidentified individuals “went into the underbrush (…). We mobilized an Air Force helicopter to comb the area. We came away with 79 bales of cocaine (that have been counted), meaning that we’re talking about 1,000 to 1,200 kilos,” Osorio added. The high-ranking officer explained that they were continuing to count packages of 25 to 30 kilos each. He added that the officers also found another 35 kilos of cocaine “floating” in the Caribbean near the Swan Islands, in Honduran waters. Osorio explained that Operation Martillo is being carried out by the Armed Forces, with the intervention of the Navy and the Air Force, which are patrolling the area of the department of Gracias a Dios inhabited by Misquito indigenous people, while the National Police are operating jointly with agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in that area. Honduran authorities are deploying operations in the departments of Gracias a Dios, Olancho, Colón, and Yoro, located in the country’s north and east and considered sanctuaries for drug traffickers, who land in small planes or disembark from boats.
By Myriam Ortega/Diálogo March 14, 2019 In late January, British, Spanish, and Italian authorities, in coordination with the Colombian Navy, seized more than 2 tons of cocaine in several Italian ports. The Colombian Navy’s thorough intelligence work, which also led to the arrest of one person, facilitated the combined operation. European units found the drugs in several containers aboard two merchant ships coming from the Gulf of Urabá in the Colombian Caribbean. Authorities seized the cocaine in the ports of Genoa and Livorno, Italy, where the ships made a stopover on their way to Barcelona, Spain. According to the Colombian Navy, the seized cocaine would have been worth $164 million in the international market. “This operation emerged from having monitored a group that smuggles mostly cocaine hydrochloride to European countries,” Colombian Navy Vice Admiral Andrés Vásquez Villegas, commander of the Caribbean Naval Force, told Diálogo. “This organization seems to be linked to the criminal group Clan del Golfo, here in Colombia.” The criminal ring uses container ships in the Gulf of Urabá . Controlled by Clan del Golfo, the area is strategic to the control and trafficking of cocaine for having outlets to the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Despite the dense, hard-to-reach rainforest characteristic of the region, the Navy managed to successfully monitor the area. “Our intelligence agencies found out as soon as ships were contaminated,” said Vice Adm. Vásquez. “We started coordinated work with police authorities from the United Kingdom, Italy, and Spain.” International cooperation Colombia signed many cooperation agreements with European countries allowing for intelligence exchanges aimed at countering narcotrafficking and disrupting transnational criminal groups. In addition, after joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in May 2018 as a global partner, Colombia is now closer to the countries of the Euro-Atlantic zone. “Colombia operates with its intelligence units and collects information. If the result is of interest to other countries we have agreements with, we share that information,” said Colombian Navy Captain Federico Alberto Sierra Zuluaga, commander of the Navy’s Counternarcotics Task Force No. 73 Neptune. “Thanks to channels of trust and coordination with those countries, they can proceed to verify specific information to achieve common results.” After six months of surveillance, the Navy’s intelligence units shared the information they obtained with the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre – Narcotics (MAOC-N), and the Seaport Cooperation Project (SEACOP). Based in Lisbon, MAOC-N supports the fight on drugs transiting the Atlantic by sea and air into Europe or Africa. SEACOP seeks to strengthen cooperation against illicit maritime trafficking in the transatlantic route with the creation of Joint Maritime Control Units in countries in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. “The information we send is accurate, and they [MAOC-N and SEACOP] trust it,” Capt. Sierra said. “They coordinate with European security organizations to follow up and seize the cocaine.” According to information from the Spanish police, authorities intercepted a ship carrying 643 kilograms of cocaine in the Port of Livorno. Italian authorities also found 2,103 kg of drugs in the Port of Genoa. In addition, the operation enabled the capture of a person in Barcelona who intended to receive the drugs. “Thanks to the surveillance the being conducted and the traceability of the cargo, we will certainly see more arrests in the coming days,” said Vice Adm. Vásquez. According to Italian authorities, the seizure is the largest made in their territory in the last 25 years. For the European forces, the operation was a success, thanks to the commitment of several nations. “This is a transnational crime that doesn’t involve only one state or country,” said Capt. Sierra. “Therefore, there should be coordination between states’ security agencies, so they can conduct combined operations such as this one carried out with European institutions.”
By David Vergun, DOD News/Edited by Diálogo Staff October 09, 2020 U.S. Navy Admiral Craig S. Faller, commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), and Ambassador Jean Manes, SOUTHCOM civilian deputy to the commander, joined an Americas Society/Council of the Americas roundtable conversation on October 5.“The main mission of SOUTHCOM is to defend the United States. That’s primarily accomplished through working with partners,” said Adm. Faller. “We have some really strong, capable partners in this hemisphere.”Adm. Faller mentioned Brazil, Colombia, and Chile as being particularly stalwart partners, as well as many others, like El Salvador, which currently has peacekeeping troops in Mali and has contributed similarly in the past in other peacekeeping missions.Enhancing military capabilities in the region can take various forms, including bilateral and multilateral exercises, which increase interoperability, sharing intelligence and inviting military members to share in military education opportunities, he said.Adm. Faller mentioned the top threats the hemisphere faces.Most illegal fishing in this hemisphere comes from China. “This has us focused with a sense of urgency day in and day out,” he said, adding that the U.S. Coast Guard has been taking an active role in enforcement.China is also working on port and other infrastructure deals, as well as information technology to leverage their own influence in the region, he said, adding that they’re also building military partnerships in the area, along with Russia and Iran.The three nations most receptive to malign influence, he noted, are Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.Adm. Faller said that in addition to foreign meddling, the other area of concern is the $90 billion a year enterprise run by transnational criminal organizations, who traffic in people, guns, drugs, cyber, money laundering, and other activities.In April, the U.S. Defense Department, in concert with the U.S. State Department, stepped up intelligence sharing of criminal organizations and activities with partner nations, Adm. Faller said, with productive results.Ambassador Manes said the U.S. Department of Defense works closely with interagencies, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector, particularly when it comes to natural disaster and humanitarian assistance.In March, the department and its American partners began a large-scale campaign to deliver supplies needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.The U.S. is the largest aid donor in the hemisphere, she added, noting that the U.S. Department of Defense has been involved in 330 such projects in the last six months.Ambassador Manes also mentioned China as being an economic threat to the hemisphere. China overfished their own waters so now they’re coming to the region and decimating local fishing communities. Every nation with a coastline should be worried, she added.
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RenewableUK and Scottish Renewables met in Glasgow, Scotland, on Tuesday, 14 November, to debate future opportunities for UK’s floating offshore wind.The two industry bodies held UK’s first floating offshore wind conference in order to urge the sector to work together in building the next generation of floating offshore wind farms in UK waters and to secure the lead in future export markets for the technology, RenewableUK said.Bader Al Lamki, Executive Director for Clean Energy at Masdar, which is co-sponsoring the conference, said: “Deep-water locations often have the best wind profiles, which illustrates the long-term commercial potential of floating wind technology. The Floating Offshore Wind 2017 Conference brings this promising sector into focus, building on the positive momentum achieved with the launch of Hywind Scotland last month.”Besides Statoil and Masdar’s 30MW Hywind Scotland, the world’s only operational floating offshore wind farm, two further projects, Kincardine and Dounreay Tri, are being developed, adding 60MW to the country’s floating offshore wind capacity by the end of the decade.If these projects are delivered successfully, RenewableUK believes that the UK will have one-third of the world’s entire floating wind capacity, providing the country an opportunity to be the floating wind leader across the globe.According to RenewableUK, industry experts emphasise the potential for floating wind to follow the same cost reduction trajectory as fixed offshore wind, pointing out that cost savings from assembling turbines onshore before towing out to sea and the use of lower cost vessels also offer cost reduction opportunities. In addition, according to the association, using floating platforms means being able to position turbines further from shore in areas of greater wind resource.“Statoil has an ambition to reduce the costs of energy from the Hywind floating wind farm to €40-60 per megawatt hour by 2030. Knowing that up to 80% of the offshore wind resources are in deep waters (more than 60 meters) where traditional bottom-fixed installations are not suitable, floating offshore wind is expected to play a significant role in the growth of offshore wind going forward,” said Stephen Bull, the Senior Vice President for Wind & Carbon Capture at Statoil, which is also co-sponsoring the event.Outside of the UK, France, Japan and the USA are also looking at opportunities to develop floating wind, RenewableUK said, adding that 80 percent of Europe and Japan’s offshore wind resources are in seas over 60 metres deep, thus can only be harnessed using floating offshore wind technology.
University of Auckland 15 March 2017Family First Comment: Disturbing lack of supervision by parents… “Eight in 10 teens and six in 10 primary school children say there are no limits on their screen time out of school – whether that’s playing computer games, using their phones, or browsing the internet.” This is why we need an inquiry in to pornography – especially its availability and the nature of the content available online. Parents might think again about the need for supervision! www.porninquiry.nzEight in 10 teens and six in 10 primary school children say there are no limits on their screen time out of school – whether that’s playing computer games, using their phones, or browsing the internet.The insights have emerged from the second data release from CensusAtSchool TataurangaKiTeKura, a national, biennial project run by the University of Auckland’s Department of Statistics that shows children the relevance of statistics to everyday life. In class, Year 5 to Year 13 students (aged 9 to 18) use digital devices to answer 35 online questions in English or te reo Māori, providing a unique snapshot of Kiwi childhoods. So far, more than 5,700 students have taken part.Students were asked if, on a school day, there was a limit on the amount of screen time they had at home. Just 16% of high school students and 37% of primary school students reported a limit. For those with limits, primary schoolers were allowed a median of an hour (the median is the middle amount in the range reported) and secondary students two hours.Students were asked how often their screen time was supervised – with supervised meaning a parent or caregiver was watching or was in the same room as the child. Four in 10 primary schoolers said “a little,” and two in 10 “usually.” More than half of high school students said they were never supervised, with a further three in 10 saying they were supervised “a little.”CensusAtSchool co-director Rachel Cunliffe, a former statistics lecturer and mother of four children aged 2, 4, 6 and 8, says she is “really surprised” at the results. “I imagined that in this completely wired world, the majority of kids would have limits – parents often discuss ways to find a balance between screen time and outdoor play time.”Rachel Cunliffe points to Ministry of Health advice that outside of school, 5 to 18-year-olds spend less than two hours a day in front of the television, computers, and game consoles. She and her husband tried setting limits, but with four kids, that was hard to police. “Now, in our house, we have a list of morning, afternoon and evening jobs to be done on school days before the kids are allowed screen time, “ she says.READ MORE: https://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/en/about/news-and-events-5/news/news-2017/2017/03/most-kids-have-no-screen-time-limits.html