Related posts:No related photos. Call centres are experiencing increasing recruitment difficulties, accordingto a report. The study, by consultants Watson Wyatt, also reveals that companies areresponding to the problem by increasing salaries and improving careerprogression. Five in 10 call centres report recruitment problems, compared with four in10 a year ago. The study also finds that eight out of 10 companies have aproblem with staff turnover. Watson Wyatt HR consultant Nicola Harding said the survey shows howcompetitive the call centre labour market is in the UK. Call centres report local competition for staff as the main cause of therecruitment problems. The tendency for contact centres to cluster in particular regions alsoaggravates recruitment difficulties. “Call centres are often concentrated in areas such as Leeds andLiverpool, so this tends to make competition for staff even more extreme,”said Harding. Watson Wyatt’s latest contact centre survey finds that 64 per cent of callcentre firms are responding to these problems by raising wages. Nearly half are offering increased career development opportunities, and 45per cent are targeting different groups of potential recruits, such aspensioners and students. “Best practice employers are giving more opportunities to progresswithin the organisation,” said Harding. The median base starting salary for a junior call centre telephoneconsultant is £11,350, and £16,312 for a team leader or supervisor. www.watsonwyatt.com Previous Article Next Article Career development will help call centres recruit new staffOn 11 Feb 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed.
The concentration of atmospheric methane increased from around 360 ppbv at the last glacial maximum (∼20 ka before present) to about 700 ppbv in the pre-industrial era (∼200 years before present). The sources and/or sinks of methane must therefore have changed during this period; however, the relative sizes of the source- and sink-driven changes in methane concentration remain uncertain. We take the first “bottom-up” approach to identifying any chemical signals preserved in the ice record that could help us to determine these. Using an atmospheric chemistry-transport model, we explore the effects of source- and sink-driven changes in methane on a wide range of chemical species in the Antarctic boundary layer. Though we identify several potentially useful atmospheric signals, a simple and robust constraint on the sizes of the source- and sink-driven changes cannot be readily identified, owing to their preservation in the ice, limitations to the information they hold, and/or ambiguity surrounding their interpretation. This includes the mass-independent fractionation of oxygen isotopes in sulfates, and the concentration of formaldehyde, in which there has been considerable interest. Our exploration is confined to a domain in which NOx emissions and climate remain constant. However, given the uncertainties associated with the changes in these factors, we would anticipate that their inclusion would make it harder still to identify a robust signal. Finally, though formaldehyde cannot provide this, we propose how it might be used to synchronize the gas- and aqueous-phase Antarctic ice records and thus determine the relative phasing of glacial-interglacial changes in Southern Hemisphere CO2 and temperature.
The lower limb of the Atlantic overturning circulation is resupplied by the sinking of dense Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) that forms via intense air–sea–ice interactions next to Antarctica, especially in the Weddell Sea. In the last three decades, AABW has warmed, freshened and declined in volume across the Atlantic Ocean and elsewhere, suggesting an ongoing major reorganization of oceanic overturning. However, the future contributions of AABW to the Atlantic overturning circulation are unclear. Here, using observations of AABW in the Scotia Sea, the most direct pathway from the Weddell Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, we show a recent cessation in the decline of the AABW supply to the Atlantic overturning circulation. The strongest decline was observed in the volume of the densest layers in the AABW throughflow from the early 1990s to 2014; since then, it has stabilized and partially recovered. We link these changes to variability in the densest classes of abyssal waters upstream. Our findings indicate that the previously observed decline in the supply of dense water to the Atlantic Ocean abyss may be stabilizing or reversing and thus call for a reassessment of Antarctic influences on overturning circulation, sea level, planetary-scale heat distribution and global climate.
From the late 1940s to the early 1970s, many people came to this country from around the Commonwealth to make their lives here and help rebuild Britain after the war.All members of this House will have seen the recent heartbreaking stories of individuals who have been in this country for decades struggling to navigate an immigration system in a way they never, ever should have been.These people worked here for decades. In many cases they helped establish the National Health Service. They paid their taxes, enriched our culture. They feel British in all but legal status and this should never have been allowed to happen.Both the Prime Minister and I have apologised to those affected and I am personally committed to resolving this situation with urgency and purpose.Of course an apology is just the first step we need to take to put right the wrong these people have suffered, but before I get on to the steps we will be taking I want to explain how this situation has arisen.The Immigration Act 1971 provided that those here before it came into force should be treated as having been given indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK, as well as retaining a right of abode for certain Commonwealth citizens.Although HMS Windrush docked in the Port of Tilbury in 1948, it is therefore everyone that arrived in the UK before 1973 who were given settlement rights and not required to get any specific documentation to prove these rights.Since 1973 many of this Windrush generation would have obtained documentation confirming their status or would have applied for citizenship and then a British passport.From the 1980s successive governments have introduced measures to combat illegal immigration. The first NHS treatment charges for overseas visitors and illegal migrants were introduced in 1982. Checks by employers on someone’s right to work were first introduced in 1997, measures on access to benefits in 1999, civil penalties for employing illegal migrants in 2008, and the most recent measures in the Immigration Acts of 2014 and 2016 introduced checks by landlords before property is rented and checks by banks on account holders.The public expects us to enforce the immigration rules approved by Parliament as a matter of fairness for those who abide by the rules.And I’m personally committed to tackling illegal migration because I have seen in this job the terrible impact has on some of the most vulnerable in our society.But these steps intended to combat illegal migration have had an unintended, and sometimes devastating, impact on people from the Windrush generation, who are here legally, but have struggled to get the documentation to prove their status.This is a failure by successive governments to ensure these individuals have the documentation they need and this is why we must urgently put it right.Because it’s abundantly clear that everyone considers people who came in the Windrush generation to be British. But under the current rules this is not the case. Some people will just have indefinite leave to remain, which means they cannot leave the UK for more than 2 years and are not eligible for a British passport.This is the main reason we’ve seen the distressing stories of people leaving the UK over a decade ago and not being able to re-enter.So I want to enable the Windrush generation to acquire the status that they deserve – British citizenship – quickly, at no cost and with proactive assistance through the process.First, I will waive the citizenship fee for anyone in the Windrush generation who wishes to apply for citizenship. This applies to those who have no current documentation, and also to those who have it.Second, I will waive the requirement to carry out a Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK test.Third, the children of the Windrush generation who are in the UK will in most cases are British citizens. However, where that is not the case and they need to apply for naturalisation, I shall waive the fee.Fourth, I will ensure that those who made their lives here but have now retired to their country of origin, are able to come back to the UK. Again, I will waive the cost of any fees associated with this process and will work with our embassies and High Commissions to make sure people can easily access this offer.In effect this means anyone from the Windrush generation who now wants to become a British citizen will be able to do so.And this builds on the steps that I have already taken.On 16 April, I established a taskforce in my Department to make immediate arrangements to help those who needed it. This included setting up a helpline to get in touch with the Home Office. And let me be quite clear, this helpline and the information shared will not be used to remove people from the country. Its purpose is to help and support.We have successfully resolved 9 cases so far and made 84 appointments to issue documents.My officials are helping those concerned to prove their residence and they are taking a proactive and generous approach so they can easily establish their rights.We do not need to see definitive documentary proof of date of entry or of continuous residence. This is why the debate about registration slips and landing cards is misleading. Instead the caseworker will make a judgement based on all the circumstances of the case and on the balance of probabilities.Previously the burden of proof on some of the Windrush generation to evidence their legal rights was too much on the individual. And now we are working with this group in a much more proactive and personable way in order to help them.We were too slow to realise there was a group of people that needed to be treated differently. And the system was too bureaucratic when these people were in touch.The Home Office is a great department of state. It works tirelessly to keep us safe and protect us. It takes millions of decisions each year that profoundly affects peoples’ lives. And for the most part it gets these right.But recent events have shown that we need to give a human face to how we work and exercise greater discretion where and when it is justified.That’s why going forward I will be establishing a new customer contact centre, so anyone who is struggling to navigate the many different immigration routes can speak to a person and get the appropriate advice.This will be staffed by experienced caseworkers who will offer expert advice and identify a systemic problem much more quickly in the future.I will also be putting in place 50 senior caseworkers across the country to ensure where more junior members of staff are unsure about a decision they can speak to someone with experience to ensure discretion is properly exercised.There has also been much concern about whether the Home Office has wrongly deported anyone from the Windrush generation.The 1971 Immigration Act provides protection for this group if they have lived here for more than five years if they arrived in the country before 1973.And I am now checking all Home Office records going back to 2002 to verify that no one has been deported, in breach of this policy.This is a complex piece of work that involves manually checking thousands of records.So far, 4,200 records have been reviewed out of nearly 8000, which date back to 2002, and no cases have been identified which breach the protection granted under the 1971 Act.This is an ongoing piece of work and I want to be absolutely certain of the facts before I draw any conclusions. I will ensure the House is informed of any updates and I intend to have this data independently audited once my department has completed its work to ensure transparency.Mr Speaker, it was never the intention that the Windrush generation should be disadvantaged by measures put in place to tackle illegal migration.I am putting additional safeguards in place to ensure this will no longer happen, regardless of whether they have documentation or not.As well as ensuring the Home Office does not target action against someone who is part of the Windrush generation, I will also put in place greater protection for landlords, employers and others conducting checks in order to ensure we are not denying work, housing, benefits and services to this group.These measures will be kept carefully under review and I don’t rule out further changes if they are needed.Now I will turn to the issue of compensation.As I said earlier, an apology is just the first step we need to take to put right these wrongs. The next and most important task is to get those affected the documents they need. But we also do need to address the issue of compensation.Every individual case is painful to hear. But so much more painful, often harrowing for the people involved. These are not numbers but people with families, responsibilities, homes and I appreciate that.The state has let these people down. Travel documents denied, exclusions from returning to the UK, benefits cut, even threats of removal. This, to a group of people who came to help build this country. People who should be thanked.This has happened for some time. I will put this right and where people have suffered loss, they will be compensated.The Home Office will be setting up a new scheme to deliver this which will be run by an independent person.I will set out further details around its scope and how people will be able to access it in the coming weeks.Mr Speaker, I am also aware that some of those individual cases that have come to light recently relate not to the Windrush generation, but to people who came to the UK after 1 January 1973.These people should have documentation to confirm their right to be here.But I recognise some have spent many years here and will face similar issues in documenting their rights after so many years in this country.Given people who have been here for more than 20 years will usually go on a 10 year route to settlement, I am ensuring that people who arrived after 1973 but before 1988 can also access the Windrush taskforce so they can access the support and assistance needed to establish their claim to be here legally.I will consider further, in the light of the cases that come forward, whether any policy changes are needed to deal fairly with these cases.Mr Speaker I’ve set out urgent measures to help the Windrush generation documents their rights, how this Government intends to offer them greater rights than they currently enjoy, how we will compensate people for the hardship they have endured and the steps I will be taking to ensure that this never happens again.None of this can undo the pain already endured, but I hope it demonstrates this Government’s commitment to put these wrongs right going forward.
With election season heating up, non-profit organization HeadCount is stepping up their efforts to help register concertgoers to vote. In a new video, a plethora of our favorite artists have stepped up to support the cause, encouraging viewers to “Be A HeadCount Volunteer” in the interest of democracy.It’s something of a who’s who of artists in the video, including Bob Weir, Marc Brownstein (Disco Biscuits), Jon Fishman (Phish), Grace Potter, Bela Fleck, Abigail Washburn, Al Jardine (Beach Boys), and Tom Hamilton (American Babies/Joe Russo’s Almost Dead). All of them have the same message: Be A HeadCount Volunteer.Watch the clip below:But seriously, why wouldn’t you volunteer for HeadCount. Aside from doing some really important work, HeadCount volunteers get to attend concerts and festivals, while also interacting with some of the great people who sign up for such a noble cause. With the craziness of the 2016 election, don’t miss out on an opportunity to truly make a difference.Register to be a volunteer for HeadCount by following this link.
Tower of Power was scheduled to play Yoshi’s in downtown Oakland on Thursday night, but the show was immediately cancelled upon the horrific news that two members of the legendary funk and soul band were hit by a Capitol Corridor train shortly before the scheduled performance. Bassist Marc Van Wageningen and drummer Dave Garibaldi were taken to the local hospital, but officials have not revealed the degree of their injuries.Amtrak reports that the train struck two trespassers just after 8PM, according to abc 7. The tracks were temporarily shut down for police investigation, but are now up and running again.The band released this official statement: We will continue to update you as the facts are shared. In the meantime, send all your positive thoughts and prayers to Tower of Power and their respective friends and families during this difficult time.[via abc 7]
Singer and songwriter George Strait will perform at Notre Dame Stadium on Aug. 15, the University announced in a press release Friday.Though the artist — whom the release referred to as the “King of Country” — no longer tours, he occasionally performs in certain cities. Recently, Strait played in Wichita and Kansas City.The release said Strait is a highly decorated artist.“With an unmatched 60 singles hitting the top of the charts — more than any other artist in any genre — during the span of his 30-plus-year career, Strait has collected 33 platinum- or multi-platinum-selling albums, more than any country artist and ranking third across all genres behind The Beatles and Elvis Presley,” the release said.According to the release, Strait has sold close to 70 million albums and won upwards of 60 “major” awards. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006.Tickets will be available March 6 at 10 a.m. via ticketmaster.com.Tags: Country Music, George Strait, Notre Dame Stadium
“No matter the preparation, the unfortunate truth is that accidents happen, and that’s why people use ropes.” “If I am in a situation in which free soloing is the only option to reach the summit, and there is not a safer way, there will be an occasion that I may embark. However, it is not something that I seek out.” “Subjectively there’s nothing safe about it. There’s risk and there’s consequence. The consequence is very obvious,” he said. The free soloist has the freedom to leave the ropes behind, but anyone else climbing the same crag that day has the unexpected risk of witnessing brazen climbing and potential loss of life. With the growing attention being paid to free soloists after Free Solo, he had begun to attract a larger following within the booming danger-sport landscape, alongside the skyscraper parkour and perilous selfies taken atop towers and on cliff edges. He had begun talks with a potential filmmaker to make a documentary about his exploits. Sasha DiGuilian on Free Solo: Sasha Digulian wrote this on Instagram the night Free Solo won the Academy Award for best documentary film. “Last night Free Solo won an Oscar! First of all, huge congratulations to Jimmy Chinn, Alex Honnold, and all of the crew involved. Needless to say, an accomplishment of a lifetime and I know this came with a lot of hard work and perseverance. It is momentous for me to see a climbing film recognized at the highest of high regards. With all the hype and attention that is sure to come from this, I felt it was important for me to speak about the very specific differences between this form of climbing (free soloing) and the approach the vast majority of climbers take to the sport itself. What Alex does when free soloing is by nature, very risky. And while in my career I have had instances where a form of this has been necessary it has also been a choice that came as a last resort and has happened less than a handful of times over my 20 years of climbing. Free soloing is a style of climbing that a very small percentage of climbers partake in as there is no higher level of risk: life or death. I say all this with the caveat that it is not the sole form of climbing that Alex does.While I am so excited by the recognition this film has received, I also feel like I have spent a big portion of my career trying to educate people unfamiliar with climbing about our sport. A goal of mine has been to demonstrate that anyone can do it, and that it is a safe and welcoming activity. In my opinion Alex is one of the greatest climbers of all time to have the capacity to realize all that he has accomplished. However, I also just want to make it clear, which I do feel like this film has done a good job of, the separation that free soloing has from the general form of climbing that I encourage all of you to experience at some point in your life. But when you do, especially if it your first time: please be sure to seek out guidance from a trained and knowledgeable climber at your local gym or local crag. Take a course in how to enter the spot safely and with the proper training and equipment. This is an incredible and inclusive sport that, when approached correctly, is safe and fun for everyone.” Howell got into climbing through a gym-wall in college. He excelled and began going to the gym regularly. During that time, he won a rope and safety equipment after participating in a raffle during a climbing exhibition. He told me how this led him to discover a new world of climbing outdoors. He quickly became a certified lead climber, and outdoor climbing took over his life. “Soloing in one way is the most obvious way in the universe,” he explained, speaking proudly of John Muir in 1888 climbing Cathedral Peak. “Essentially he free-soloed that cliff to the top of it, and free-soloed it back down.” For centuries, Pueblo people had built houses into the sides of tall cliffs without any safety devices. Carabiner and belays didn’t arrive until 1933. Unhooking the rope for the first time for Austin was not an epiphany; it was practical. He was half-way up a steep rock face, felt weighed down by the heavy bag of bolts and the ropes on his back, and simply unhooked himself and passed the gear to his climbing partner. “When the rope is off, you can’t afford to slip,” explains free solo climber Austin Howell. Austin Howell was a rock climber for 12 years, 10 of which had been primarily as a free-soloist. He was the kid that climbed the tallest tree in hide and seek never to be found. He took up rock climbing at an indoor gym in college. After college, he worked day jobs that called for him to climb 300-foot cell towers, often in harsh weather. He became a proficient lead climber, requiring him to go long stretches between safe points. Austin Howell “When you encounter a free soloist on a crag, you do not know whether they have been dialing in the climb as Honnold did for El Capitan, or they just decided to do it with little or no forethought,” says Bopp. “It can be hard on other climbers as to whether they should speak up and say something. It is the most unsafe climbing there is, especially coming from an instructor background,” says Bopp. In 2017, the day after Alex Honnold completed his free-solo ascent of El-Capitan, climbing journalist and author Daniel Duane wrote in The New York Times: “I believe that it should be celebrated as one of the great athletic feats of any kind, ever.” He was 41 at his death, Austin Howell was 31. Howell spoke and wrote regularly about Reardon as somewhat of a ghost-mentor to him. “I understand the mantra with the connection, the rock, the silencing of the mind through free soloing, but it is not for me,” Anderson said. He hasn’t seen an uptick in free solo climbing on his watch at Pilot Mountain after the Honnold documentary. One month after talking with BRO, Howell, age 31, fell 80 feet to his death on a free solo climb at Linville Gorge. “The Boulder Problem is the single reason nobody had even considered free-soloing [the] Freerider [ascent of El Capitan],” Caldwell told Men’s Journal last year. “It took Alex almost a decade to get comfortable on it. Otherwise, he’d probably have free-soloed it in 2009.” “If it is something that affects access, then it is something we would take a stance on. We’re certainly not the climbing police who tell people how they should go climb.” It was an exercise in existential voyeurism, and freesoloing, the most taboo, dangerous and controversial styles of climbing, reached the mainstream vernacular. Jesse Anderson, 32, has been a park ranger at Pilot Mountain State Park for six years and a climber for a dozen, but never as a free soloist. “We set ground rules from the get-go to manage the risk. We tell everyone the rules and expectations so we don’t have to correct and address the daredevil style student.” Has Alex Honnold’s free solo climb of El Capitan sparked more daredevils? At least one free soloist has fallen to his death since the film was released. Chin and Honnold knew that if Honnold was going to fall, the Boulder Problem would be the most likely place, and Chin didn’t want a videographer to have to witness Honnold fall out of frame. “If a free soloist starts climbing beside another climbing party that is roped up, it is unsettling,” says climbing filmmaker and photographer Adam Nawroot. He noted how Jimmy Chin, producer and principal shooter of Free Solo (also an advanced climber and one of Howell’s close friends), chose in advance to pull the crew from the Huber Boulder Problem, the most risky climbing sequence of the ascent. Zachary Bopp Mike Reardon shares the name with one of the most revered of free soloists. In 2007 the other Mike Reardon fell to his death free soloing a cliff in Ireland. After he fell into the cold water, a rogue wave took him away and he was never found. “If you’re a free-soloist and you show up at a crag and you start free soloing and don’t clear it with everyone they might watch you die right there. It is unfair to the other people around you.” Austin Howell free solo climbs in the Linville Gorge. Photo by Jess Daddio. The documentary attracted viewers outside of the climbing and extreme-sports community. The visceral and primal spectacle of witnessing a man face imminent death attracted a broad audience. Honnold, already a celebrity in the climbing world, became a household name. Will all the current fanfare directed towards freesoloing cause a surge in climbers to leave their ropes and bolts behind? We asked members of the Southern Appalachian climbing community for their thoughts on freesoloing. The 26-year-old is known for her free climbs, different from free soloing, in which the climber may use climbing equipment only to protect against injury during falls and not to assist progress. In 2015, she became the first woman to free climb Magic Mushroom (7c+), one of the most difficult routes on the north face of the Eiger Mountain in Switzerland. A natural fear of falling tends to weed out the majority of potential free soloists. Once a climber reaches about 15 feet, they do not proceed without ropes. It is a consensus in the climbing world that free soloing is the “fringe of the fringe,” a tiny community growing smaller in the current climbing boom of indoor gym climbers that has led to climbing’s debut in the 2020 Olympics. Even with the inherent risks to both the climber and those who may be unintended witnesses of a fatal fall, the question of regulating free solo climbing is widely seen as a moot point due to its rarefied nature. “Even back to movies like Cliffhanger, potential land managers will bring up climbing without ropes, and it is an opportunity for us to make an educational point, that this style of climbing is really a televised phenomenon for the most part,” says Zachary Lesch-Huie, Southeast regional director for The Access Fund, a national climbing advocacy and conservation organization. Naturally, one would think Austin Howell’s recent death and the popularity of Free Solo could spook future work. Lesch-Huie has had to ease worries due to similar concerns in the past. “We haven’t seen an increase in climbers out there trying to be Alex Honnold,” he says. Zachary Bopp agreed. He is the Outdoor Program Supervisor at REI in Chattanooga who leads climbing classes. The Carolina Climbing Coalition (CCC) was established after a climber fell to his death in 1994. Climbers mistakenly worried that state parks would be closed to climbing as the result of a fatality at Crowder’s Mountain. State park officials and climbers met in Charlotte and determined that a park closure was not planned and that a coalition would best serve the interests of both climbers and park officials. In January 1995 almost 100 area climbers voted unanimously to create the coalition to help preserve climbing access in the Carolinas. “We’re not the climbing police telling people how they should go climb.” —Mike Reardon, Carolina Climbers Coalition Jesse Anderson Mike Reardon A National Geographic documentary film crew captured the four-hour 3,000 foot ropeless ascent—as well as the years of intense preparation Honnold put into climb. Released in theaters last fall, “Free Solo” won an Academy Award and grossed $21 million at the box office, making it the highest grossing National Geographic documentary of all time. A record-breaking 3.1 million viewers watched the premiere on the National Geographic Network. “I do not free solo,” says Sasha DiGuilian, a world-renowned professional climber from Virginia who spent much of her youth climbing in the Red River Gorge. “Rocks can break and incidences out of my own control can occur. To do this would be selfish to my family and my loved ones because I can handle my own death, but I would not want to put those close to me through the heavy weight of loss.” Howell had completed hundreds of free solo ascents across the country. One of his videos, documenting a free solo ascent completely naked save for a cowboy hat and boots, made it onto MTV’s Ridiculousness. Mike Reardon was appointed Executive Director of the CCC last February. He described the charitable organization’s main mission is maintaining access to various areas by stewarding trails and working on bolt replacement. They also collaborate with landowners to open new areas to climbing. Sasha DiGiulian It was acquiring safety gear that led him into outdoor climbing. It was putting aside that gear that took his life prematurely.
While the capture of the 26 suspects strikes a strong blow against the FARC, the Armed Forces and police must remain vigilant, considering other members of the terrorist group are continuing to target the country’s oil pipelines. Military, police must remain vigilant By Dialogo July 27, 2015 how dangerous That is what needs to be done with those men with no country the pipeline has a hole I hate this disgusting report even though I needed it for a homework assignment. I don’t know what else to say 2015-11-24We are owners of our own invention “Our challenge is to defend western Colombia both at sea and (in) land operations from the threat of all territorial groups,” Admiral Guevara said. “We also carry out unarmed operations to support the community and the local government. It is a very important armed and unarmed effort.” The Navy has dismantled about 80 percent of the Daniel Aldana’s second company by capturing or killing its members, including key leaders. In February, Óscar Armando “Oliver” Sinisterra, who was responsible for planning and coordinating attacks against civilians and security forces in the country’s southwest, was killed in rural Tumaco. Colombia’s Armed Forces and National Police recently captured 26 members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) who allegedly participated in attacks against oil pipelines and law enforcement officers. Also on June 19, the National Police, Air Force and other members of the Armed Forces worked together to capture 20 suspected FARC rebels, including an alleged leader of the terrorist group who is known as “Pupilo.” Those suspects are accused of blowing up an electrical tower and attacking the Trans-Andean pipeline with explosives before they were taken into custody. Navy Task Force assigned to Tumaco On June 19, Naval forces, which are part of the Poseidon Task Force Against Drug Trafficking, teamed with the National Police, the Unified Action Groups for Personal Liberty’s (GAULA) Anti-Kidnapping Unit, Marine Battalion No. 40 and the SIJIN police force to apprehend six suspects in the department of Nariño. They’re believed to belong to the FARC’s Daniel Aldana Column, a group operating in Nariño’s port city of Tumaco, according to Law enforcement and Military authorities. On July 19, the FARC’s 33rd Front attacked the T293 well in the department of Santander, causing minor damage to the facility’s motor control board and electrical system. That same day, the FARC’s 48th Front used an improvised explosive device (IED) on the Trans-Andean pipeline in Nariño, causing a blast that emitted toxic vapors and endangered the civilian population. “At the current juncture, the entire sector needs support to maintain its momentum and continue to generate the resources to fund large projects,” Minister of Mines and Energy Tomás González Estrada said. Law enforcement authorities “have been able to link him to the recent attacks through informants,” he added. The arrests are part of an ongoing effort to protect the country’s infrastructure from terrorist organizations. And on June 9, FARC operatives wearing civilian clothes and carrying firearms forced the drivers of four tanker trucks to dump all of the 200,000 gallons of crude oil they were transporting into waterways in the department of Putumayo. Protecting oil pipelines and tanker trucks that transport crude oil are important to the mission of the Poseidon Task Force, which is made up of 1,500 Troops who also combat drug trafficking, extortion and oil theft. “The two main rebel groups, FARC and ELN (National Liberation Army), have been blowing up pipelines that carry oil for foreign companies. The result has been that almost three million barrels of oil, which amounts to 14 Exxon Valdezes, have ended up polluting soil and water,” the website Living on Earth reported. The Exxon Valdez was an oil tanker that gained notoriety by spilling hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil after running aground in Prince William Sound off the coast of Alaska on March 24, 1989, resulting in the second-largest oil spill in U.S. history. “Task Force Poseidon is the main unit that responds to everything that happens in Tumaco,” Admiral Paulo Guevara, the unit’s commander, told Diálogo. “In Tumaco, armed criminals mingle with the people and in that sense, it’s very difficult to control those people who on the one hand follow the guerrillas’ guidelines and who profit from drug trafficking, extortion, mining and fuel smuggling,” he added. “Pupilo led terrorist actions,” Major General Rodrigo González, commander of Police Region 4, said. “This operation is one of the largest that has been developed in Nariño.” The column is allegedly behind a series of attacks in the region against oil pipelines, including one in Tumaco that caused the spill of 410,000 gallons of oil that polluted the Cuanapí, Rosario and Mira rivers and left 160,000 people without drinking water. Authorities have said water service would be restored by August.
Around 120 pigs on farms across North Central Timor regency in East Nusa Tenggara have died suddenly of unknown causes, with the number likely to rise as officials begin collecting data. North Central Timor regent Raymundus Sau Fernandes said the dead pigs came from farms in the Kefamenanu, North Bikomi, South Bikomi, Biboki Anleu, North Insana and Insana Fafinesu districts. He added that blood samples from the dead pigs had been sent to Medan Veterinary Research Center in North Sumatra to determine the cause of the pigs’ deaths. “For now, we are giving medicine and vitamins to the pigs that are sick,” he said on Thursday, as quoted by kompas.com.There are concerns the deaths might be related to the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak that has killed tens of thousands of pigs in North Sumatra and hundreds of pigs in Bali in the past few months. In Sikka regency, where many residents are pig farmers, regent Robby Idong has instructed all district, subdistrict and village heads to be on alert for ASF.“Residents should inform staff from the Sikka regency’s agriculture and livestock agency if they find any signs of unnatural pig deaths,” Robby said. (kmt)Topics :